I have been an admirer of Daniel Naudé’s photography since I saw his work, Africanis, a couple of years ago.  I stumbled upon that series without having heard of the artist at all and was surprised by his talent and interested to see where he would go.  He is quite well-known now (and perhaps even was when I first posted about him here) and when I revisited his website recently, I was really excited to see this fantastic group of pictures, Animal Farm.  These pictures remind me of Pieter Hugo and Simen Johan, two guys it never hurts to have come to mind when your work is being shown, in my opinion.

From the artist’s statement: Extended periods spent in rural South Africa brought Naudé closer to understanding the complex relationship farmers have with domesticated animals, and he began to see other common animals like donkeys, sheep and goats in a different way. A pivotal photograph is David Tieties with his three-day old donkey photographed outside Verneuk Pan in the Northern Cape, South Africa, 6 April 2009. For Naudé, the way that David Tieties holds the newborn foal reminds him of man’s dominion over animals. The irony is that the foal will in a few months’ time carry David around in the barren land of the Karoo where people rely on these animals for transport as well as companionship. At the time Naudé was overwhelmed by the tenderness of the connection between David and his three-day-old donkey.

It is these instances of mutual connection with animals whose lives are conditioned and determined by their relationships to man that fascinate Naudé, and he portrays his subjects with a sense of wonder and awe that allows us to see them afresh. In front of the photographs, we find ourselves on the same eye level as the subjugated animals, extending their knowing gaze to us and reminding us of our uneasy dominion over them.

Visit artist's site: danielnaude.com