If you haven't yet caught the UK and American TV Shows "Being Human" on SyFy and BBC, I recommend both versions highly. Where the premise of those dramas depict werewolves and other creatures of the night trying to maintain a semblance of humanity, it drew a parallel for me in interpreting the phenomenal work of Tim Flach whose photography explores how animals often replicate human emotion.
Tim FlachWhether it's a bat photographed as if he's appearing in stage performance of Phantom of the Opera, or a monkey who seems to assume man's current obsession with mobile texting, Flach has the uncanny ability of turning wild and domestic animals into human-like impostors.
Annie LeibovitzWhile capturing hundreds of animal images from every corner of the planet, his masterful work is comparable to celebrity photographers the likes of an Annie Leibovitz whose capable of transforming portraits into icons that can stand the test of time.
According to his website bio, Flach's "technical expertise and uniquely innovative approach to photographing animals has positioned him at the forefront of his field. . . and provides a unique glimpse into the extraordinary nature and complexity of our relationship with animals."
His website also highlights how Flach brings his subjects into such close focus that we begin to read their poses and gestures as that which is human-like. "We find ourselves irresistibly drawn into a distinctly anthropomorphic tête à tête, suddenly able to see eye to eye with a curiously kindred species whose behavior is not unlike our own."
In a critique by Simon Willis entitled, "Body Language," the reviewer points out that "by using the principles of human portraiture. . . and a vocabulary of gestures and looks which seem to echo our own and play on our predispositions and sympathies," Flach can connect with these animals on not only a spiritual plane, but also draw graphic similarities to man-made constructs, such as this zebra blending into a commercial bar code.
"Monkey Eyes" probably Flach's most recognizable portrait and one that has gone viral on Facebook and Pinterest is as disturbing as it is aesthetically pleasing. One becomes immediately empathetic with this animal. The connection between human and animal is so powerful, it's as if Flach was able to capture his soul on film.
A while back, I posted a blog relating to how my grandmother introduced me to the possibility that "Chickens Can Be Pets Too." While that tale became a rite of passage for a young toddler, it appears photographer Flach, not only could visualize chickens as pets as well. . . but also as wild party animals!
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