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Meet Ken

Meet Ken Arenberg, a 94-year-old visionary photographer and graphic artist with an uncanny ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Having trained as an engineer and later working as a venture capitalist, Ken’s journey into photography began as a hobby, capturing the nuances of his surroundings that often went unnoticed by others. As his passion grew, so did his portfolio, revealing a unique perspective on the mundane, such as fire hydrants, manhole covers, and signs.

 

Ken has traveled to 30 countries across six continents. His most cherished body of work stems from a collection of over 200 fireplugs from around the world which he amassed over 20 years. “It all started with fireplugs,” he says as he reflects on how he got into urban photography. "I never took pictures or created anything with the idea of selling it. There were lots of beautiful vistas and adorable kittens I didn’t capture. My only aim was to enjoy my art."

 

Ken began on simple film cameras in the 1990s and transitioned to a humble $200 Canon Elph digital camera in the early 2000s. Ken has no formal training in photography or design, only an exquisite eye for composition and the nuances of everyday life that people often overlook while exploring new places.

 

“My photographs are the paint that I work with in my designs,” says Ken, who started Circular Graphics during the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020. Unable to travel and inspired to create from his massive 80,000 photo collection, Ken started his design company, which is the fifth company he’s created in his 94 years.

 

His work draws viewers into a world where the commonplace becomes a canvas for art. Through his lens, hydrants transform into urban sculptures, manhole covers narrate the city's history, and signs speak a language of their own. Seeing is a very underappreciated skill when navigating an urban landscape and Ken’s eyes are skillfully trained.

 

Ken's photographs invite viewers to see the extraordinary beauty hidden in plain sight, fostering a renewed appreciation for the details that escape casual observation. In a world bustling with distractions, Ken's art serves as a reminder to pause, observe, and find wonder in the seemingly mundane corners of our daily lives. His artistic vision has not only garnered admiration from friends and family, but has also inspired others to explore the enchanting stories woven into the fabric of their own surroundings.

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