This photo is part of the “More than Human” project, by photographer Tim Flach, who has created a collection of animal portraits that reveal the complex emotions of their animal subjects, as shown in the gallery above. The project is on exhibit between Dec. 5-22 at the Osborne Samuel Gallery in London. Below is an excerpt about the project (source).
The new work reflects Tim’s current preoccupation with the contemporary relationship between humans and non-human animals, focusing on how we engage with them within the contexts of history, culture, politics and science. This will all come together in the new book, More than Human, due for publication in October 2012 with a launch and exhibition at the gallery. Through Tim’s unique vision and ability to challenge the viewer, he has created a series of images which encompass not only his personal beliefs, but the concepts common in modern and historical religious and cultural symbolism, the human obsession with ‘cuteness’, cross-breeding, the blurred line between human and animal genetic modification, conservation, morphology and plasticity. Tim brings the viewer into an unnatural proximity to his subjects, encouraging discussion on the human-animal boundary and attitudes towards non-human animals and the changing relationships, both literally and allegorically, between man and animal.
Tim Flach studied Communications Design at the North East London Polytechnic (1977–1980) and then Photography and Painted Structures at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (1982–1983). On graduation he briefly assisted Brian Worth, but soon began to attract commissions and was working independently from 1983.
Bringing the viewer into close-up proximity with their animal subjects, paintstakingly lit, carefully cropped for maximum graphic impact and animated by telling gestures, Flach’s photographs place us in an intimate relationship with their protagonists. They are far removed from wildlife photography’s documentary images of animals observed in their natural habitat. In fact, the treatment accorded to these particular creatures is not dissimilar from the close encounters with individuals that are the stuff of human portraiture.