Nick Brandt- Art Scene (October 2009)
Nick Brandt’s series “A Shadow Falls” at Fahey/Klein is a continuation of the artist’s ongoing effort to capture wildlife in East Africa and raise awareness that the most exotic animals on Earth are threatened by extinction. Although the large- scale archival prints capture the massive scale of elephants, giraffes, lions, and herds of zebras the scale also makes it apparent that the animals are dwarfed by surrounding landscape, which is vast and barren. It is only through Brandt’s lens that we can witness intimate moments shared by a lion and his mate, the affection between two giraffes who delicately wrap their necks in an embrace, and a lioness who feeds her cub while cautiously standing guard a predator. Members of the animal kingdom who once seemed a threat appear delicate and kind creatures who are making every effort to survive. A photograph taken from a high vantage point reveals hundreds of thousands of zebras and bison gathering on the riverbank, waiting to cross the water. The chaos of the gathering herd quickly restores ordered as the animals file single file into the water and swiftly make it to the other side. Their path makes an arc as if to refer to the greater circle of life at play in the animal kingdom. The threat of extinction is the foreboding message in “A Shadow Falls” as a lion with a thick maine and piercing eyes waits beneath a splintered tree that has uprooted and is now growing sideways. The once of the king of the jungle is alone and the king of the jungle has no one to protect and nothing to hunt.