My favorite type of animal-concerned photography lately is broad, subtle, and a little bit funny (and, as always, square and with stark compositions). I saw some of these images by Kevin Barton at the SPE conference in Baltimore and, although zoo photography seems to be appearing all over lately, I thought this was a refreshing take on the subject. The style of the images reminds me of a body of work I love, David Politzer’s When You’re Out There.

From the artist’s statement: “Zoo” is part of a larger body of work exploring aspects of our culture engaging in what I like to describe as “prescribed happiness.” I am fascinated by spaces, rituals, events, and activities where one’s enjoyment is dictated and strictly enforced rather than left up to individuals to experience on their own terms… I can’t help staring at these aspects of our culture that, despite our better judgment, spend a tremendous amount of energy screaming at us in forceful reassurance that we are having a great time and we love it here.

Visit artist's site: