"Going on to photograph animals from around the world, Ross creates images laden with emotion. He discards their environmental surroundings and uses an almost painterly approach in post-production, leaving us with these beautifully isolated and powerful portraits."
An Excerpt from the Introductory Essayist's Biography
Diana L. Daniels [is] curator of contemporary art at the Crocker Art Museum.... In 2011, Daniels was introduced to Elliot Ross’s animal portraits, and selections from his first series are recent, noteworthy additions to the Crocker’s photography holdings. In Ross’s stirring, seductive, and classic yet fully contemporary images, the essayist finds a new level of richness that redefines the accomplishment possible in digital photography.
"The haunting animal portraits of the American Elliot Ross question our relation to other creatures and the ways we perceive the animal world."
—Manfred Zollner, fotoMAGAZIN
"[T]his project is a remarkable and serious analysis of the animal world."
—Denis Brudna, Photonew
"In their intensity, [Elliot Ross's photographic animal portraits] seem like reflections on the ethical relationship between human and animals."
—Elke Gruhn and Sara Stehr, Curators, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden
"The texture of the creatures makes it feel like they are under your own skin."
—Richard Lang, President, Electric Works, San Francisco
"The subject of animals is rather popular among photographers, but the overwhelming majority adopts a primitive treatment. Elliot Ross opens up this subject in a way that is not only masterful — he translates it to another qualitative plane."
—Vladimir Neskoromny, Foto & Video (Moscow)
"This book [Animal] is a feast for the eyes and leaves one wondering if those animals contemplate us in the same way."
—Apogee Photo Magazine
Griffin Museum of Photography (from the press release)
In describing the underlying question of his series, Ross quotes contemporary American philosopher Cora Diamond:
In the case of our relationship with animals, a sense of the difficulty with reality may involve... a sense of astonishment and incomprehension that there should be beings so like us, so unlike us; so astonishingly capable of being companions of ours and so unfathomably distant.
How powerfully strange it is that they and we should share as much as we do, and also not share; that they should be capable of incomparable beauty and delicacy and terrible ferocity; that some among them should be so mind-boggingly weird or repulsive in their forms or in their lives.