[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Formats: Hardcover
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]

This is a book of unconventional photography. While it depicts natural animals, in this case birds, it puts them in a studio setting, which is entirely unnatural. Roger Ballen takes birds, or parts of birds, and puts them in front of his camera. What we get is a trip down a dark and twisted lane. While there are some views of humanity in a few of the pictures, they are generally regulated to the outskirts of the picture. They are not the center of attention. And when they do appear, they appear as the inmates, in ragged, dirty clothes and looking unkempt and slightly deranged. It is as if the birds got stuck inside an insane asylum, and this is the result. Each one looks like a painting of a madman.

This book will not appeal to every art lover. For someone who truly loves modernist art, and especially modernist photography, they will like the book. The pictures are dark comedic commentary on society. It will unsettle quite a number of people, but that is the point: to unsettle viewers and make them question their reality.

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