Nick Brandt

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Nick Brandt
Born 1964 (age 53–54)
London, England, United Kingdom
Education Saint Martin's School of Art
Occupation Photographer
Spouse(s) Orla Brady (2002–present)
Website nickbrandt.com

Nick Brandt (born 1964) is an English photographer whose themes always relate to the disappearing natural world, before much of it is destroyed by mankind.[1]

Background and early career[edit]

Born in 1964 and raised in London, England, Brandt studied Painting, and then Film at Saint Martin's School of Art.[2] He moved to California in 1992 and directed many award-winning music videos for the likes of Michael Jackson ("Childhood", "Earth Song", "Stranger in Moscow", "Cry"), Moby ("Porcelain"), Jewel ("Hands"), XTC ("Dear God") among others.[3]

It was in 1995 while directing "Earth Song"[4] in Tanzania that Brandt fell in love with the animals and land of East Africa.[5] In 2001, frustrated that he could not capture on film his feelings about and love for animals, he realized there was a way to achieve this through photography, in a way that he felt no-one had done before.[6]

Photography[edit]

On This Earth[edit]

In 2001, Brandt embarked upon his first photographic project: a trilogy of work to memorialize the vanishing natural grandeur of East Africa. [7]

This work bore little relation to the typical, color, documentary-style wildlife photography.[6] Brandt’s images were mainly graphic portraits more akin to studio portraiture of human subjects from a much earlier era, as if these animals were already long dead. “The resulting photographs feel like artifacts from a bygone era.”[6] Using a Pentax 67II with two fixed lenses, Brandt photographed on medium-format black and white film without telephoto or zoom lenses. He writes: "You wouldn't take a portrait of a human being from a hundred feet away and expect to capture their spirit; you'd move in close."[8]

A book of the resulting photography, On This Earth,[9] was released in 2005 and constituted 66 photos taken from 2000–2004 with introductions by the conservationist and primatologist Jane Goodall, author Alice Sebold, and photography critic Vicki Goldberg.

In the afterword, Brandt explained the reasons for the methods he used at the time: "I'm not interested in creating work that is simply documentary or filled with action and drama, which has been the norm in the photography of animals in the wild. What I am interested in is showing the animals simply in the state of Being. In the state of Being before they are no longer are. Before, in the wild at least, they cease to exist. This world is under terrible threat, all of it caused by us. To me, every creature, human or nonhuman, has an equal right to live, and this feeling, this belief that every animal and I are equal, affects me every time I frame an animal in my camera. The photos are my elegy to these beautiful creatures, to this wrenchingly beautiful world that is steadily, tragically vanishing before our eyes." [10]

A Shadow Falls[edit]

Returning to Africa repeatedly from 2005–2008, Brandt continued the project. The second book in the trilogy, A Shadow Falls, was released in 2009 and featured 58 photographs taken during the preceding years.[11]

Writing in the introduction, Goldberg states: "Many pictures convey a rare sense of intimacy, as if Brandt knew the animals, had invited them to sit for his camera, and had a prime portraitist’s intuition of character...as elegant as any arranged by Arnold Newman for his human high achievers."[12]

In additional introductions, philosopher Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation, explains why Brandt's photographs speak to an increasing human moral conscience about our treatment of animals: “The photographs tell us, in a way that is beyond words, that we do not own this planet, and are not the only beings living on it who matter.”[13]

Across the Ravaged Land[edit]

In 2013, Brandt completed the trilogy On This Earth, A Shadow Falls, Across the Ravaged Land (the titles designed to form one consecutive sentence) with Across the Ravaged Land. A book of the photography was released the same year.[14]

Across the Ravaged Land introduced humans in Brandt's photography for the first time. One such example is Ranger with Tusks of Elephant Killed at the Hands of Man, Amboseli, Kenya 2011.[15] This photograph features a ranger employed by Big Life Foundation, a foundation started by Brandt in 2010 to help preserve critical ecosystems in Kenya and Tanzania.[16] The ranger holds the tusks of an elephant of the Amboseli region killed by poachers.[6]

Inherit The Dust[edit]

In 2014, Brandt returned to East Africa to photograph the escalating changes to the continent’s natural world.[16] In a series of panoramic photographs, he recorded the impact of man in places where animals used to roam. In each location, he erected a life size panel of one of his animal portrait photographs, setting the panels within a world of urban development, factories, wasteland and quarries.[17]

A book of the work, Inherit the Dust, was published in 2016.[18] In the book, Brandt writes, "We are living through the antithesis of genesis right now. It took billions of years to reach a place of such wondrous diversity, and then in just a few shockingly short years, an infinitesimal pinprick of time, to annihilate that."[19]

Writing in LensCulture, editor Jim Casper stated: “The resulting wall-size prints are impeccably beautiful and stunning, as well as profoundly disturbing. They convey the vast spaces and light of contemporary Africa with a cinematic immersion and incredible detail. When standing in front of his images, the viewer is transported into the scenes - sometimes with wonder and awe and joy, and other times with overwhelming sadness, despair and disgust."[20] Photography critic Michelle Bogre further noted: “Nick Brandt’s new photographic work, Inherit the Dust, is his visual cry of anguish about the looming apocalypse for animals habitats in Africa... The resulting images are simultaneously beautiful and horrifying, because they illustrate the irreconcilable clash of past and present.”[21]

Big Life Foundation[edit]

In September 2010, in urgent response to the escalation of poaching in Africa due to increased demand from the Far East[22] , Brandt founded the non-profit organization Big Life Foundation, dedicated to the conservation of Africa's wildlife and ecosystems.[23]

With one of the most spectacular elephant populations in Africa being rapidly diminished by poachers[24], the Amboseli ecosystem—which straddles both Kenya and Tanzania—became the foundation's large-scale pilot project.[25]

Headed up in Kenya by conservationist Richard Bonham[26], multiple fully equipped teams of anti-poaching rangers have been placed in newly built outposts in the critical areas throughout the more than 2-million-acre (8,100 km2) area.[27] This effort has resulted in a dramatically reduced incidence of killing and poaching of wildlife in the ecosystem.[citation needed]

Big Life Foundation now employs several hundred rangers protecting approximately 2 million acres of ecosystem.[28]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Nick Brandt, On This Earth (Chronicle Books, 2005) [29]
  • Nick Brandt, A Shadow Falls (Abrams, 2009).[30]
  • Nick Brandt, On This Earth, A Shadow Falls (Abrams/D.A.P. /Big Life Editions, 2010/2012/2014).[31]
  • Nick Brandt, Across the Ravaged Land (Abrams Books, 2013).[32]
  • Nick Brandt, Inherit The Dust (Edwynn Houk Editions, 2016).[33]

Selected exhibitions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Agricultural Expansion and Human Population Pressure on Semi-Arid Landscapes Retrieved 15 January 2010
  2. ^ Living on Earth Gallimard L., 21 December 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2010
  3. ^ "Nicholas Brandt". IMDb. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  4. ^ "Michael Jackson - Earth Song (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  5. ^ Keefe, Alexa. "Iconic Animals 'Return' to Lands They Once Roamed". nationalgeographic.com. National Geographic. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  6. ^ a b c d Meek, Miki. "In East Africa, Fine Art Meets Conservation". nytimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  7. ^ Triplett, Brian. "Elegiac call of the wild". latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  8. ^ Hope, Terry. "Pro File: Nick Brandt" (PDF) (July 2006). Professional Photographer. 
  9. ^ "On This Earth: Photographs from East Africa". google.com. Google Books. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  10. ^ Afterword, from On This Earth, Retrieved 11 January 2010
  11. ^ "A Shadow Falls". google.com. Google Books. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  12. ^ Vicki Goldberg, Introduction, On This Earth, Retrieved 11 January 2010
  13. ^ Peter Singer, Foreword, A Shadow Falls Retrieved 11 January 2010
  14. ^ Epstein, Robert. "Nick Brandt: End of Eden" (PDF) (2013-10-20). The Independent. Retrieved 7 August 2018. 
  15. ^ Davidson, Barbara. "reFramed: In conversation with Nick Brandt". latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  16. ^ a b Hawk, Steve. "Activist or Artist?" (PDF) (March–April 2014). Sierra. Retrieved 2018-08-06. 
  17. ^ Bradner, Liesl. "Nick Brandt's 'Inherit the Dust' photos track Africa's tragic urban sprawl". latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-08-06. 
  18. ^ Teicher, Jordan G. "Where East Africa's Majestic Animals Once Roamed". slate.com. Slate. Retrieved 2018-08-06. 
  19. ^ Canby, Peter. "Elephants in Dust". newyorker.com. The New Yorker. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  20. ^ Casper, Jim. "Inherit the Dust". lensculture.com. LensCulture. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  21. ^ Bogre, Michelle. "Animal Habitats in Life-Sized Urban Panoramas". americanphotomag.com. American Photo. Retrieved 9 August 2018. 
  22. ^ Lombard, Louisa. "Dying for Ivory". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  23. ^ Butet-Roch, Laurence. "These Photographers Launched Their Own Foundations to Create Change". Time. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  24. ^ Ciccarelli, Raffaella. "China has banned ivory, but has the African elephant poaching crisis actually been stemmed?". news.com.au. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  25. ^ "The Amboseli Ecosystem". Big Life Foundation. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  26. ^ Vidal, John. "One man's fight against Africa's ivory poachers". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  27. ^ Edge, Jane. "Elephant Charities: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". Africa Geographic. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  28. ^ Duggan, Briana. "Anti-poaching efforts in Kenya focus on saving animals — and people too". PRI. Retrieved 2 August 2018. 
  29. ^ results, search; Goodall, Jane; Sebold, Alice (28 May 2018). "On This Earth: Photographs from East Africa". Chronicle Books. Retrieved 28 May 2018 – via Amazon. 
  30. ^ results, search (1 September 2009). "A Shadow Falls". Harry N. Abrams. Retrieved 28 May 2018 – via Amazon. 
  31. ^ results, search (31 July 2014). "Nick Brandt: On This Earth, A Shadow Falls". Big Life Editions/D.A.P. Retrieved 28 May 2018 – via Amazon. 
  32. ^ results, search (24 September 2013). "Across the Ravaged Land". Harry N. Abrams. Retrieved 28 May 2018 – via Amazon. 
  33. ^ results, search (21 February 2016). "Nick Brandt: Inherit the Dust". Edwynn Houk Editions. Retrieved 28 May 2018 – via Amazon. 
  34. ^ http://www.mamm-mdf.ru/en/exhibitions/dust/
  35. ^ https://www.custotgallerydubai.ae/copie-de-richard-hoglund
  36. ^ "Nick Brandt - Inherit the Dust". Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  37. ^ "Nick Brandt - Inherit The Dust - Exhibitions - Edwynn Houk Gallery". www.houkgallery.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  38. ^ "Nick Brandt - Exhibitions - Fahey Klein Gallery". www.faheykleingallery.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  39. ^ "Nick Brandt »Inherit the Dust« - CAMERA WORK - Artsy". www.artsy.net. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  40. ^ "Stadthaus Ulm". www.stadthaus.ulm.de. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  41. ^ -. "Nick Brandt - Salo Art Museum Roundhouse". www.salontaidemuseo.fi. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  42. ^ https://www.fotografiska.com/sto/en/exhibition/earth-shadow-falls-across-ravaged-land/
  43. ^ "PREV: Nick Brandt". Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  44. ^ "Exhibition Across the Ravaged Land - artist, news & exhibitions - photography-now.com". photography-now.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  45. ^ "Nick Brandt : Across the Ravaged Land - Hasted Kraeutler - Artsy". www.artsy.net. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  46. ^ "Nick Brandt - Exhibitions - Fahey Klein Gallery". www.faheykleingallery.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  47. ^ http://www.atlasgallery.com/exhibition/brandt
  48. ^ https://escapisming.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/nick-brandt-on-this-earth-a-shadow-falls/
  49. ^ "Nick Brandt/ Dunkers Kulturhus - SFF". Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  50. ^ "Nick Brandt : On This Earth, A Shadow Falls - Hasted Kraeutler - Artsy". www.artsy.net. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  51. ^ "Nick Brandt - On This Earth, A Shadow Falls". Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  52. ^ http://camerawork.de/en/artists/nick-brandt/
  53. ^ "Nick Brandt 'A Shadow Falls'". www.staleywise.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  54. ^ "Nick Brandt - Exhibitions - Fahey Klein Gallery". www.faheykleingallery.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  55. ^ "NICK BRANDT - African Elegy". www.staleywise.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  56. ^ a b "NICK BRANDT". camerawork.de. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 

External links[edit]