People have argued about the education and conservation benefits of zoos for ages. One observer on the matter is artist Daniel Zakharov, who we first learned about on My Modern Met. He started his Modern Wilderness series as a way to “focus on the strange and bizarre daily life of animals.” He writes on his website: “Nowadays animals are born in captivity, between concrete, tiling, cement-slab buildings, and artificial landscapes instead of the endless stretch of nature. In the meantime the zoo has become home for the animals, and they have lost the memory of their ancestral breeding grounds.” … Read More
Why explore portraiture of humans when there are cockatoos to be photographed? Good question. It’s hard not to be transfixed by the Wild Cockatoos series from fine art photographer Leila Jeffreys. Born in New Guinea, she spent her adolescence in a small village in India where she was “surrounded by monkeys, mongoose, and buffaloes.” This fondness for wildlife is evident in her work: each image is titled with the bird’s name (to name a few: Matilda, Slim, Bob), and seems to aptly capture the distinct beauty of the peculiar Australian birds.
“I want to celebrate them because they are gorgeous,” Jeffreys has explained. “I photograph them in a traditional studio portraiture setting and take photos that focuses on capturing their characters, not just their beauty… The project took me two years to complete as it was hard to get access to wild cockatoos. I worked with wildlife rescue groups, wildlife parks, zoos and private breeders that are all passionate about conservation.” Take a gander at the stunning images that she was able to capture in our slideshow. … Read More
New York City-based photographer Amy Stein creates “modern dioramas of our new natural history.” Her Domesticated series, which we first spotted on Faith is Torment, is set in the small Pennsylvania town of Matamoras. The area borders a scenic state forest. Each image is “constructed based on real stories from local newspapers and oral histories of intentional and random interactions between humans and animals.” The works show an uneasy meeting between man and nature, and explore humanity’s relationship with the “wild’ — the ways we attempt to dominate, domesticate, and connect with it. It’s a never-ending fascination that man has engaged for centuries, and nature has endured. Stein’s eco-tableaux powerfully confronts us with that anxiety and its strange beauty. See more of Domesticated in our gallery below. You can purchase a monograph of the work, which won the Best Book award at the 2008 New York Photo Festival, over here. Visit the artist’s photographs in person when Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination opens at the Glenbow Art Museum next year. … Read More