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The Horse in the New Media – “Neil Latham: American Thoroughbred.”

June 15, 2016. New post goes up each Wednesday, by Jack Dziamba

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 4.35.00 PM                           Image Credit: Neil Latham

“American Thoroughbred” – Fine Art in the New Media

This blog is devoted to the Book and Fine Art in the New Media, and how the new media tools are used by publishers, museums,and galleries to achieve the objective of making Art accessible to everyone, everywhere. One example is the Google Art Project, a world-wide collection of major works of art, which meets this objective in an excellent, simple, and clean way.

This week’s post considers  “Neil Latham: American Thoroughbred” exhibition. Until July 30, 2016, the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York is presenting “Neil Latham: American Thoroughbred” in conjunction with the publication of Latham’s monograph American Thoroughbred (Twin Palms, 2016).  Pictures include those of Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh, Zenyatta, AP Indy, Rachel Alexandra, and many others.

The Horse in Art

Portraying the Horse, and individual horse’s spirit and personality, has always been a major consideration of the artist, from the Chauvet Cave paintings done some 35,000 years ago (below, left), to the present, as exemplified by the “American Thoroughbred ” series by Neil Latham (below, right).

Chauvet Horses. Photo courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Chauvet Horses. Photo courtesy of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Fillies. 2013-16. From the series “American Thoroughbred.” CreditCourtesy of Neil Latham and Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.

Fillies. 2013-16. From the series “American Thoroughbred.” Photo courtesy of Neil Latham and Steven Kasher Gallery, New York.








The "American Thoroughbred"

“The pictures stem from a drive that Latham took into horse country north of New York City in 2013. He had taken time out to clear his head after his mother’s passing. “’I remember the instant it happened. I saw the muscular shoulder of a horse standing by a fence,  Latham said. “I stopped breathing. I hit the brakes and stared.”’ (Source: horsetalk.co.nz)

"American Thoroughbred. " Photo courtesy of Steve Kasher Gallery

“American Thoroughbred. ” Photo courtesy of Steve Kasher Gallery

 “The images are studied portraits of these animals, graphic and architectural, each one carefully planned and sketched out in advance. Traveling with a portable studio, he photographed the horses on a black backdrop, 20 feet tall by 36 feet wide, which was rotated 10 degrees every fifteen minutes to maintain the perfect angle to the sun. He decided to use only natural lighting and chose to shoot on film with medium and large-format cameras. ‘“To portray true essence, the image has to be truthful. I used film because it can’t be manipulated like digital photography. Film also gives a softness and subtlety that enhanced the emotional connection.”’ (Source: Style of Sport.)

‘“When I got back to the darkroom, I got very excited,”’ said Latham, a native of Warwickshire, England, who now lives and works in New York City as a commercial photographer.

“I realized I wanted to really understand the essence of the Thoroughbred. What is the underlying, indispensable quality of this horse?”’ Source: Blodhorse, “Quest for Excellence,” by Eric Mitchell.)

Fine Art in the New Media
 The Gallery Exhibition in New York has more than 25 large-scale black and white photographs. While only 16 of them may be seen on the Gallery’s website, the the quality of the images, and the images themselves, are stunning.  (For an even more stunning presentation of the images, in a larger format, check out those on  Monovisions.)
The example below is one of the additional features also on the website, which provides the viewer with a good sense of who the artist is,  his objective, and how he did it, without the necessity of reading extensive, and wordy wall tags, which can take up most of a gallery viewer’s time.
Another important feature is that there are no crowds, no distractions. The online viewer may concentrate solely on the images, studying them, and going back to them as may times as he/she wishes, whether the viewer is in Africa, Asia, wherever – thus the viewer , via an internet connection, has access to these images from anywhere in the world without regard to geography, wealth or status.
This may seem an obvious point, but just imagine yourself as a child in Africa with a love for horses …
 Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 3.15.35 PM


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