Pictura Gallery

Kevin Horan


If the photographer’s ungulate neighbors came to the studio and asked to have their portraits made, this is what would happen.

Treated as portrait subjects, they seem to have personalities. Perhapsthey do, and the photograph allows us to see them. Or perhaps the language of the photo cues us to generate the impression of a personage. One wonders if that interplay is any different here than it is in pictures of humans. This is a work about portraiture: what it does and how it works. I’ve made portraits of people for manyyears, and the chemistry of it is still mysterious. I am used to telling subjects that a good portrait is collaboration between photographer and subject. But how do you collaborate with a goat? A goat you’ve just met?

These pictures insist upon a active engagement of our own feelings about the souls within other beings, human or otherwise, and how visible they are from out here. If we are paying attention to our own responses, we must grapple with the cause of our response; Theory A: these creatures have the light of sentience inside, and I am connecting with it. Theory B: the application of the tradition of photographic portraiture – the lighting, pose, background – nudges us into a anthropomorphic comfort zone.

Kevin Horan is an artist based in Langley, Washington, USA. He is working on projects which look at animals as people, people as animals, and the planet as a very small place. His pictures are reality-based, and he enjoys finding the amazing hidden in the ordinary. His work from Chattel was selected for the Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 in 2014.

A recovering photojournalist, Horan has published his work in The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, LIFE, U.S. News & World Report, National Geographic, and numerous other magazines and books. Horan based himself in Chicago 1976-2006 and Whidbey Island since 2006, with assignments ranging from presidential campaigns to smalltown life in Russia to development issues in the Amazon to following a dollar bill for a week for LIFE Magazine. He was Artist in Residence, Glacier National Park, September, 2004; staff photographer for Chicago In The Year 2000; staff photographer for the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times, 1977-1981. He received a degree in journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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