Featured Artist Anup Shah

Anup Shah’s enigmatic wildlife photographic portraits appear to be drawn with pencil or charcoal. Learn more about this artist and his passion for his subject by visiting his website.

 

"Hush 1" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 1″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

I spent my entire childhood in Kenya at a time when wildlife was on my doorstep. There, I was enchanted by the wide open spaces where you could almost touch the sky. I was fascinated by animals living free and wild in these pristine landscapes.

 

"Hush 2" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" "Hush 2" Photographic Print, 30" x 20"

“Hush 2″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

As I grew up, my compulsion to photograph wild animals in their space became stronger and stronger. Then came the tipping point—I made the transition to become a full-time wildlife photographer.

 

"Hush 4" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 4″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

I survived for a number of years as a documentary wildlife photographer, and even though I was doing stories for The National Geographic Magazine, I was not wholly satisfied. Quite simply, I was not developing.

 

"Hush 5" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 5″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

I realized that how I saw the natural world and my interpretation of it was not being reflected in my photography. Then I discovered fine art photography and, re-energized, I searched for my taste within it.

 

"Hush 6" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 6″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

The first step in this joyous gestation period was to embrace black and white photography since it dawned on me that the beauty of wild living seemed to be made up of light and shadow.

 

"Hush 7" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 7″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

In addition, I found that black and white photography interprets the mood of a place and the soul of a wild animal more intensely than color photography. Subsequently, I honed in my technique such that I could use the camera to “draw” as if with a pencil.

 

"Hush 8" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 8″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

Finally, having arrived at my taste for beauty and mystery, I considered my philosophy which is that aspects of human nature–ecological profligacy and the wish to kill and destroy—make it impossible for humans and wildlife to co-exist peacefully in the long run. For wild animals to live true to their nature, a sanctuary is needed. After all, a lion in the wild is a lion but a lion in a zoo is not a lion.

 

"Hush 9" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 9″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

So, I have attempted to create a timeless world in which I imagine animals as they are, doing their own thing, at their natural pace in their own space. Now, I would like to find consolation by tiptoeing in this imaginary world and feel a beautiful moment, watching enigmatic beings being themselves.

 

"Hush 13" Photographic Print, 30" x 20" by artist Anup Shah. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Hush 13″ Photographic Print, 30″ x 20”

 

As for my future, I am already into my next related project in which I attempt to use the camera to “draw” as with charcoal in order to reveal the paradoxical nature of elephants in particular and life in general.

 

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