Flach’s intimate and bewitching photographic animal portraits fill the pages of this large and arresting book, bringing us into “unnatural proximity” with snakes, beetles, and bears. His stated mission is to create images that provoke questions about our relationships with other species and “our attitude, and responsibilities, toward the natural world.” But this is not your typical “save the planet” volume. Flach’s stunning, “superreal,” boldly composed images are complex and unnerving works of art, portals into other forms of being. Chimpanzees and bonobos are riveting in their near-humanness, while jellyfish, sea horses, fruit bats, an experimental breed of featherless chicken, a rare big-cat hybrid, and butterfly pupa are electric with life. Blackwell (The Life and Love of Trees, 2009) elucidates the unique “visual tension” in Flach’s work and the ethical questions it suggests, then reflects on the social significance of animal imagery, reaching back to cave paintings. Flach’s astonishing photographs affirm that “there is so much more than human out there” and that we share more with other species, no matter how unlike us, than we realize. --Donna Seaman
About the Author
Tim Flach is an acclaimed photographer best known for the originality that he brings to capturing animal behavior and characteristics. Flach’s previous books with Abrams are Equus and Dogs. Lewis Blackwell is the author of Abrams’ The Life and Love of Cats.