Photographs by Jill Greenberg.
Little, Brown & Company, Boston, 2009. 96 pp., 60 four-color illustrations, 8x10".
A top celebrity portrait photographer, Jill Greenberg has a unique ability to coax powerful emotions out of her subjects - whether human or animal. Her portraits of bears, collected here for the first time, surprise and engage. We encounter cubs as cute cute as a child's teddy, grizzlies that look like they might swallow you whole, and polar bears seated in sphinxlike tranquility.
Full-grown brown bears, grizzlies, black bears, polar bears, and also bear cubs are photographed against a studio backdrop. The poses and facial expressions are at turns oddly comedic, pensive, terrifying, and sometimes unexpectedly human. Alive with Greenberg's signature lighting and seen thorugh the unique perspective of her lens, these startling bear portraits bring us closer to some of nature's most powerful creatures that would ever be possible - or prudent - in person.
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