October 5, 2012 | 3
As I’ve pointed out before on Symbiartic, before the modern naturalist movement, nature lovers would shoot and kill the objects of their fancy to get a better look. Audubon himself would take dead specimens and pin them into life-like poses before drawing them and turning them into the prints that are so treasured today. But today’s champions of the natural world take a different approach. Todd Forsgren, for example, photographs birds moments after they are caught in nets, before they are tagged and released back into the wild by the people studying them.
I imagine these magnificent birds feel much like dogs wearing the dreaded cone of shame after being neutered. Hopelessly tangled in a net, their normally smooth feathers are splayed awkwardly, their limbs are skewed and they’re just plain confused. Organisms normally praised for their beauty and grace are for a moment awkward and goofy, revealing their vulnerability. It’s a moment we can identify with and as such, it gives us pause.
Forsgren is represented by Heiner Contemporary Gallery
Giclée prints of this ornithological series are available at 20×200
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