Born March 15, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. Mark grew up in Northern California and at 16, the family moved to Oahu, Hawaii. At 18, Arbeit enrolled in the University of Hawaii to study art and photography. A few years later, he decided to focus solely on photography, and transferred to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. During his third year there, he met the photographer Helmut Newton.
Upon finishing his studies, Arbeit moved to New York, and was hired by Irving Penn as a photographic retoucher. After working for Penn, Arbeit moved to Milan to launch his own fashion photography career, and photographed fashion and beauty editorial for Linea Italiana, Donna and Vogue Bellezza magazine.
In 1985, he settled in Paris to further his career as well as expand his artistic boundaries. To explore the experimental side of photography, Arbeit and a few ambitious photographer friends from the Art Center formed a group called 'The Cauldron.' Its mission was simple: to take pictures that had never been done before. Arbeit chose focus as his tool, and launched In & Out of Focus, a series of photographs in which in the foreground Arbeit focuses sharply on a flower and in the background, an Out-of-focus, female nude mimics the shape and movement of the bloom.
Arbeit continued work editorially, splitting his time between Paris and New York, shooting fashion for French Vogue and Marie Claire, and portraits for In Style, People and Forbes. In 1992, he launched a second series, 'Artist Atelier,' a series of female nudes in painter/ sculpture studios in Paris.
In 2004, Mark with his wife Pattariya and daughter Jariya move back to Hawaii. In 2007 Mark & Pattariya had a second child, Ocean Aka.
Arbeit spent the next 10 years in Honolulu, shooting fashion and celebrity editorial for local and national magazine. During this period Arbeit work a new personal series; ‘Torso’, a surreal look at the female nude. In the studio using a black background, covering the arms, legs and head, leaving only the torso exposed to a single light.
In 2012 Arbeit was invited to be part an Artist-in-Residence in Belgium through EyeLoco gallery. For his subject, Arbeit chose ‘Photograms’, life size photograms of female nudes, lying on 4’x8’ sliver gelatin photo paper, exposed with a flashlight and developed all in a darkroom.
Arbeit photographs have been on display at the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, Germany, 2009 and 2019 and can be seen in galleries throughout the world.