Foster. Connect.

With reflection, comes connection. If there is a choice between alignment and distance, go for alignment. When nature is stressed, she resets.

“The Circumstance of Pomp”

In the animal kingdom, various forms of pageantry are used when animals endeavor to attract a mate. In their world, showing brightly colored plumage or demonstrating a specific skill set, has significance to a potential partner as it may indicate status such as optimum health and vigor, or skills in finding food or shelter.

But what about when humankind creates pageants for our entertainment that imposes our standards of beauty upon the animal kingdom? What is their experience and understanding of this ordinance? This project is a look behind the scenes at “The Circumstance of Pomp.”

grooming a standard poodle backstage at the WKC

Many Loves

Today is Valentine’s Day, and all about love and since 2020 is off to a rough beginning for the world, I thought I’d focus on the things I love to capture. Creativity comes in all forms, and though my true love is documentary projects with a special interest in social environmental issues, it’s the culmination of the fondness I have for other genres, that informs my work. Portraiture, editorial, children, nature and the animal kingdom. As our world strives to become more inclusive, #parasite #oscars #bestpicture and the lines are becoming increasingly blurred #nonbinary it’s becoming more and more evident, that a lack of transparency isn’t something that serves us. #politics #coronavirus and so I’m inclined this year, to showcase more of my inner truth.

A few select artists that inspire me with their unique brilliance, are far reaching and multi-faceted, and also not within my industry. Their genius comes in many forms. @hangfenghavefun @eddieleida @mquanstudio. Life is art.

Katya
Professor J-F Levy

Backstage between dance performances

Katya
Katya
African Gray with tiny e-collar

Adolescent Herring gull from the project “Displaced.”

“Giving Grace”

TOBIN
Factoids: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon from Maine. Has human eyes and a human heart.
AKA: Tobes, Magobs
Idiosyncrasies: Swims every chance he gets. Always the first one in, last one out. He’s known to use the ladder getting in and out of the pool. Will come running from afar if he hears an apple being cut.
Favorite Snack: Frozen broccoli. Loves all foods save almonds and dates.

The Power of Imperfection

But who cares? You don’t see the power and the poetry of not being perfect?” – Peter Lindbergh

Peter Lindbergh, a great master and one of my favorite photographers, has died at 74. Peter Lindbergh was unrivaled in his ability to get to the raw material, and embraced perceived flaws revealing them as beautifully honest. There is something relatable and tangible about his portraits. The angst, struggle, vulnerability, and acceptance that he delivers in an unapologetic way. He instills a sense of courage and integrity, that can only be seen with the truth.

Everest and Snakey

Everest and her corn snake Snakey

Everest and her younger brother Gunner, couldn’t come up with a name so Snakey became the default. Gunner has the impression that Snakey belongs to him, but Everest says  he is misinformed and making false claims, and that Snakey belongs to her.  Often when people see this portrait, their reaction is to recoil, preferring to look at more palatable pet portraits I have of domestics. #dogs. I find perception fascinating, as everything is about perception. When I witness people flinching at Everest and Snakey, I am taken aback, as I find their relationship beautiful. During the shoot, there was trust, and a clear bond between the two; several frames with them nose to nose, communicating a mutual admiration. This was not something I expected from a cold-blooded reptile, and it was fascinating and touching to witness how Everest handled Snakey with such reverence. Our reactions to things is based upon our biased classifications, and this gives me reason to pause. I too, have been enlightened through meeting Everest’s pet rats Rufus and Banks, which allowed me to overcome my own prejudices and “tail fears” about rats. Now I realize, how awesome rats are as pets.

Tis the Season

On the highways of Illinois
There is no preservation, is essence is lost. 2 live morning doves, with taxidermy fawn and coyote

I could never understood the dark irony of stalking a majestic wild animal, who, using every skillful instinctive tool it possesses to survive, and being quite deft with those skills on its own, with all the endeavor that daily survival entails, is suddenly in one defining moment, taken out of existence. More befuddling, is once it’s been extinguished and devitalized, it is taken to a taxidermist, who then tries to make it look as lifelike as possible.

I could never understand, the bragging rights for the spoils of an ambush, of a harmless animal that wanders (or is baited) into a fatal frame and taken down by a high powered something or other. What is the takeaway, of receiving a bounty for an arena of your own design, with a player of one? There is no squaring off. There is no even playing field. There is not even awareness, from the other opponent, that they are even participating. We could also equate this scenario in kind, with the plight of our planet.

There is no point for preservation, if essence is lost.

Sad Find

Sad find

More and more, I’ve been met with experiences that bring to light, just how delicate, precious, and fragile life is. What this brings to me, is to be grateful and incredibly aware, of the seemingly insignificant things in life, which in fact, are the most profound.

Last Song

I picked up this little bird, and before I laid it to rest, I studied every last miraculous detail. I found a spot that would honor and echo, its brief existence in the world. A delicate place replete with beauty. At the very moment I placed it back into the earth, my wind chimes rang with ferocity. A fitting chorus, to Its final song.