2019 — San Francisco, USA
About this series
Animal and Other Animals are both series of photographic images of non-human animals – interpretive observations of other species.
“Our 23 year old family cat Sadie died after suffering from several severe illnesses over several years’ time. My wife Ellen and I kept Sadie alive by forcing medication down her throat, injecting sub-cutaneous fluids into her neck, and in other ways ministering to her failing health. In this way we established the kind of physical intimacy that only caregivers can have with a patient.
After her death, I was preoccupied with feelings of loss and sadness. But what followed were feelings of puzzlement about human and non-human animal life.
Vague questions arose. My thoughts and motivations were unclear. Perhaps I wanted to experience the emotional weight of these questions fully, without analysis, without words. Then Ellen pinned an old snapshot of Sadie to a wall in our apartment. It was an extreme close-up of Sadie apparently staring into the camera’s lens — an image amazingly evocative of her living presence.
Seeing the snapshot somehow coalesced with my emotional state, and I began to photograph a variety of non-human animals so I could get to know them – as one can only do through rendering a subject in an artistic medium – then contemplate them again before further refining the images.
Two series have resulted from this process with a third one in production: Animal, Other Animals, and Animal Studies respectively.
Still I feel it’s important not to conceptualize this ongoing project. Perhaps I’m trying to avoid the phenomenon known as “verbal overshadowing” wherein the left hemisphere of the human brain, which thinks in words, displaces the product of the right hemisphere, which thinks in pictures—the description that kills the image.” Elliot Ross
Photographer: Elliot Ross
Based in: San Francisco, USA
Elliot Ross was born in Chicago. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1971. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in collections in the United States and abroad, including those of the Bibliothéque nationale de France, Paris; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museé de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium.
His critically acclaimed photo books “Animal” and “Other Animals” were released by Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam in 2010 and 2014 respectively. His work is represented in New York by Alan Klotz Gallery and in Amsterdam by Schilt Publishing Gallery. He lives in San Francisco and New York with his wife, the writer Ellen Ullman.