Photographer Daniel Arnold Knows the Key to a Long-Term Relationship with New York

Daniel Arnold, 59th and Grand Army Plaza, 2021. Image courtesy of Arnold and New York Life Gallery.

Daniel Arnold and Z. Susskind’s meet-cute took place in the most caffeinated of terrains: a breakfast joint. “He is a great server of breakfast,” Arnold guarantees over Zoom. “He was coming in a lot, and I mentioned that I really liked his work,” Susskind cuts in. “It’s kind of amazing to see that somebody who’s relatively private is creating a record that people feel validates their experience living in the city.” Private though he may be, over the past decade Arnold has become a beloved and deeply human visual storyteller of the emotional topography that is New York. He didn’t have to look far to name his new show at New York Life Gallery, on view through Dec. 22; he just resurfaced what was already there, calling it “New York Life.” “It's like a Daniel Arnold photograph in and of itself,” comments Susskind. The breakfast dealer, who chose to forego name dropping his spot, is also a sculptor. He’s in the midst of preparing his first solo show with Entrance gallery this December. To honor both milestones, the duo sat down to talk about their analog approaches, staying enchanted, and why New York is immune to downfall.

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