When American photographer Kevin Horan moved from the city of Chicago to rural Whidbey Island in the state of Washington, he discovered among the local residents a flock of goats and sheep, who greeted him each day in front of his house as friendly neighbors do. The chorus of sounds they made suggested they were not just herd animals, but perhaps individuals as well. He writes: “Their voices were all so different – sopranos and baritones, shouts and murmurs, rebukes and pleas – that I thought of them as not just a flock but a tight-knit group of individuals.”
Experienced in portraiture, Horan decided to photograph his new neighbors in his studio, as though they were privileged clients just like aristocratic country gentlemen and ladies. For practical reasons, he brought the studio to them on the farms where they lived. When it was time to take the picture after setting up the lighting and backdrop, Horan did not pose his subjects. Instead, he waited and watched until the moment the animal revealed itself to him in all of his or her glory. His exquisite resulting images are published in Goats and Sheep. A Portrait Farm (5 Continents Editions, March 2019).
Horan’s portraits of regal Isabella, goofball Stanwood, imperious Sherlock, and “excuse me” Jake, among other agreeable sitters, invite us to notice the variety, dignity, and personalities of these lowly farm creatures, who speak to us through the camera in a profile, a sideward glance, or a direct gaze. With different gestures, faces, and expressions, they are funny, fascinating, intelligent, curious, engaging “others” who command our undivided attention and respect. They remind us that we are all fellow creatures – and the camera isn’t always on us.
KEVIN HORAN | GOATS AND SHEEP. A Portrait Farm – An Exhibition, Artist Talk & Book Signing
Exhibition Dates: July 19 – September 21, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, July 26, 2919 from 5pm – 7pm
Artist Talk & Book Signing: Saturday, July 27, 2019 from 3pm – 5pm
photo-eye Bookstore Project Space
1300 Rufina Circle, Suite A3
Santa Fe, NM 87507