Arild Kristo


Arild Kristo (1939-2010) was a Norwegian photographer and filmmaker, whose small but poignant oeuvre achieved cult status as time passed, encompassing 180 photos, two short films and one feature film.

Kristo had his photographic education in the Unites States and worked as a freelance photographer in the U.S. and Europe. In 1962, together with photographers Dan Young (1938) and Robert A. Robinson (1927-1996), he founded photo agency Manité, a name taken from the French word Humanité, which referred to the fundamental idea behind the group's photographic approach: to capture human existence through photography. 

Kristo travelled around Europe in 1962. When he came back, he discovered on his negatives a little boy playing in the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall. He decided to return in 1963 to make a story about this boy, Manfred Stein, and his life near Checkpoint Charlie. The photo essay about Manfred was published in the American magazine Look in June 1963 and in British and German magazines as well.

In 1963, Kristo created the photo series Ten Commandments, in which he used distinct cropping methods, high contrasts and remarkable typography to present his images.

Arild Kristo made his debut as a film director in 1966 with the short film Undergrunnen (The Underground) about Oslo's subway. In 1967, he followed with Kristoball, a playful film about a young director's anguishes and problems. Kristo's only feature film Eddie & Suzanne (1974) is a road movie about a Norwegian Romeo and Juliet in the 1970s.