Survivors: A New Vision of Endangered Wildlife

James Balog, Author, James Balog, Photographer ABRAMS $49.5 (144p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3908-0
According to photographer Balog, the future for the survivors of some 900 currently endangered species will be captivity, ``the twilight zone of zoos.'' His striking, artfully manipulated portraits call attention to that sad possibility by posing animals far from their native habitats and contexts, and by using the techniques and slick concepts of commercial photography. Each subject receives ``star'' treatment: an Asian elephant assumes a cheesecake position poolside; a mandrill sitting on a stool looks like an invention of Vogue . Accompanying each shot is information on the animal. The very artificiality of Balog's backdrops--white screens, painted walls, complex theatrical sets--eloquently emphasizes what the elegant creatures may soon lose: their natures. The spectacle of this is jarring; yet one can't help but giggle at the sight of a sea turtle belly-up on a cushion or the fearlessly close-up view of a rhino's rear. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
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