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LA Baby

LA Baby

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Antarctica - 2022

Large – 56” x 92” Unframed,
71” x 107” Framed – Edition of 12

Standard - 37” x 61” Unframed,
52” x 76” Framed - Edition of 12

I have sensed for some time, that the art world is looking for more from photographers and I have been warned of the dangers of being too earnest with a camera, which is why I spend less time than I used to working on encounters demanding literal documentation. It is a crowded space and every day sensational natural world images are garnered from around the planet from accomplished wildlife photographers. I am just not sure where that space is going at a time of such abundance of quality content. I certainly don’t see much of it on show at Art Miami and that is a good barometer. Peter Beard was way way ahead of his time.

His mate, Andy Warhol said that “Art is what you can get away with” and I do get his point. It is for the viewer to decide what is dull and generic, not the practitioner, but I know from my own errors that photographs of decisive moments in the field, or indeed simple portraits, can totally fail to engage third parties who were not there at the time. They can work, but the quest for emotional engagement has never been harder. It is a tough crowd out there in 2022. There is “no importance of being earnest”.

These musings leant heavily on me as I deliberated what to do differently this time in Antarctica. Installation art interests me as a storyteller and the opportunities are limitless as it is fresh. We decided to bring some canvases down to Antarctica as they can be erected and taken down in 20 minutes without being invasive; a bit like a tent on the ice.

This preconceived image is lifted by two factors that I could not have influenced. Firstly, the textural beauty of the Emperor penguin; she is so LA and secondly the fact that the weather was tough. It just works and I know it will divide opinion - but that’s what you need - not ambivalence.

(For the avoidance of doubt, our installed art in Antarctica was erected on location under IATA guidelines and without the Emperor penguins anywhere near us. We relied on constant weather conditions and then did the maths on the composite).

~ David Yarrow

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