Minkkinen is known for his black and white abstract pieces which juxtapose bodies and landscapes in surprising ways: he “directs scenes in which his body — or a portion of it — appears as an integral part of the landscape — such as an outcropping or rock formation”.
Minkkinen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1945. After his family moved to the United States, Minkkinen graduated from Wagner College in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, and from Rhode Island School of Design where he studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind with a Master of Fine Arts in Photography. After teaching for a few years at M.I.T. Minkkinen is now a Full Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in the Art Department, where he, together with Timo Laaksonen, founded the cultural exchange, Spirit Level Workshops in 1996. Together with Laaksonen and Mark Eshbaugh, Spirit Level II (2003) and III (2007) resulted in the publication of a book commemorating the experiences to date. Minkkinen’s work is included in over 75 major museum/institutional collections including the Helsinki Museum of Photography., the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.,Museum of Modern Art, Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the George Pompidou Center in Paris, the National Gallery of Canada and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Japan.