Thursday, November 12, 2009
Publisher's Summary. A top celebrity portrait photographer, Jill Greenberg has a unique ability to coax powerful emotions out of her subjects - whether human or animal. Her portraits of bears, collected here for the first time, surprise and engage. We encounter cubs as cute as a child's Teddy, grizzlies that look like they might swallow you whole, and Polar bears seated in Sphinx-like tranquility.
Full-grown brown bears, grizzlies, black bears, Polar bears, and bear cubs are photographed on location against a portrait backdrop. The poses and facial expressions are at turns oddly comedic, pensive,terrifying, and sometimes unexpectedly human. Alive with Greenberg's signature lighting and seen through the unique perspective of her lens, these startling bear portraits bring us face to face with our fears and fantasies.
Review.Bear Portraits by Jill Greenberg captures trained bears in unbelievable poses. The stars of the book are: Agee, polar bear; Ali Oop, Kodiak; Amos, European Brown Bear Cub; Barney, Kodiak; Betty, Kodiak; Bonkers, Black Bear; Brett, Black Bear; Cheyenne, Russian Brown Bear; Koda, Grizzly; Max, Black Bear; Ursula, Kodiak; and Whopper, Kodiak. Page after extraordinary page of this remarkable book features bears as never seen before.
Each portrait demonstrates that bears “are magnificent creatures of immense power, emotion and beauty.” Some bears are caught in reflection, while others enjoy “cutting up” for the camera. Some bears are depicted in full fury, while others appear to be gentle giants. Some bears are shot so close that one can check the bear’s teeth for cavities! And the baby photos of Amos the 40 pound brown bear cub are irresistible!
Greenberg declares that “bears can be simple, sometimes savage animals, but they have as much right to survival on this planet as we do.” Thanks to the arresting images in Bear Portraits many will be inclined to agree!
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (November 3, 2009), 104 pages
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.