Art and Birds

26 03 2009
Jean Luc Mylayne - Bird Photography

Jean Luc Mylayne - Bird Photography

I have always loved art and at one point, in what seems like a past life now, went to art college to do my foundation degree. Now obviously I see birds and art as making an interesting combination. Some of the photo’s from my linked sites are truly stunning but recently I was turned on to two artists who have been more influenced by nature and birds instead of using them specifically as the focal point of their photography.

The first is Jean Luc Mylayne. My brother actually got me the Jean Luc Mylayne book for my birthday and it is really spectacular. All of his pictures were taken on a large format camera so there are no telephoto lenses involved here, he rather has worked the birds into his photographs either using close approach or just letting them be just one aspect of the particular shot. Often he uses the birds as part of the piece rather than them always being visually at the center of it. My wife likened some of them to a birding Where’s Waldo. Cool pictures with lots of humor and charcter. You can see some of the art online (here) and if you are out in the Midwest you can see his amazing prints in person at the Krannert Art Museum (here).

Another art bird book that I got for my birthday, from my friend Tina Green, was Egg & Nest by Rosamund Purcell. The photo’s are either of bird skins, eggs or nests from all over the globe, but with much of the emphasis on North American species. As well as the photographs, there is some interesting stuff about oology and bird collecting in a historical context. It’s a fascinating book and along with the Mylayne book would make a great present for a birder who has an eye to more artistic endeavors. It seems like the recent exhibition of Purcell’s work at Harvard is over but I will keep my eye’s open for forthcoming shows.

To quote from the reviews on the Purcell book “What kind of genius is Rosamund Purcell? Is she an artist? A scholar? A documentarian? A living cabinet of wonders? Her originality defies category as does her newest triumph, Egg and Nest. Crack it’s shell.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

Both books are available from Amazon at least and I imagine you can find them in good book stores locally. I thoroughly recommend checking them out. Purcell Book. Mylayne Book.

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