A rare bird
On this week’s cover is not a painterly abstraction, but a real-life creature — in an admittedly unusual position. The crowned crane, its head tucked behind its plumage while grooming or at rest, is a large African bird, photographed by Brad Wilson. The Santa Fe-based photographer excels at making close-up high-resolution photos of leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, owls, and other animals that embody the idea that, as Wilson writes, we are “part of a beautifully rich and interconnected diversity of life.” Wilson’s photographs are on display at Photo-eye Gallery (541 S. Guadalupe St.). On the cover is African Crowned Crane #4, Los Angeles, CA, 2011, archival pigment ink.
Brad Wilson’s arresting photographs of wild animals are most notable for their great clarity and purity in portraying the beautiful range of Earth’s creatures. In great detail, we witness the fierceness of the black leopard, the thoughtful gaze of the chimpanzee, the quiet power of the white rhinoceros, and the indecipherable stare of an African elephant in an up-close shot that emphasizes the pachyderm’s deeply wrinkled character. Prints from the artist’s series are shown in an exhibition opening at Photo-eye Gallery on Friday, Dec. 2.
Wilson, a Santa Fe resident for the past 12 years, studied art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then zeroed in on photography with sessions at the Maine and Santa Fe photographic workshops. He moved to New York City to work with professional photographers and establish his own career. He began the work in late 2010. Many of his best images appear in his book which was published in 2014 by Prestel, with text by the eminent zoologist and artist Desmond Morris. spoke with Wilson in mid-November.