Animal PortraitsBook - 2001
Walter Schels' decision to photograph animals was not just motivated by a love of same. Here too this passionate portraitist and photographic researcher of the human physiognomy was driven by his interest in all creation, his delight in rendering essence and personality visible in a photograph. The results are anything but pretty animal portraits of the kind found in countless publications. He has photographed the animals like great portraitists photograph people: mostly using a large-format camera, sometimes in his studio, often outside pens or cages, with great earnestness and a deep desire to capture the very essence of what he is portraying. He has thus achieved something unique in animal photography: astonished and strangely touched, we find ourselves confronted with an animal face that reminds us of human features. The decadence in the face of the cat, the melancholy in the eyes of the monkey, the attentiveness in the gaze of the elephant. The links we make are reminiscent of the dialectics of essence and appearance anticipated in the case of humans by 18th century physiognomists. These photographs also call to mind our own animal nature and are therefore not just humorous and amusing, but serious too, because in the animals' apparently human characteristics we discover our own essence.
Walter Schels' black-and-white animal photographs are unique and incomparable. A series of portraits worthy of public acclaim.
Publisher: Zurich ; New York : Edition Stemmle, c2001.
Branch Call Number: 779.32 SCHELS
Characteristics: 118 p. : chiefly ill. ; 37 cm.