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Nick Brandt (British, b.1966)
LOT ID: 69776
Lion Before Storm I, 2009

Pigment Print
11 х 14 in. (27.94 x 35.56 cm.)
Signed, on recto
Print/Casting Year 2009
Edition ed. 9/30
Lot description
"I'm not interested in creating work that is simply documentary or filled with action and drama, which has been the norm in the photography of animals in the wild. What I am interested in is showing the animals simply in the state of Being. In the state of Being before they are no longer. Before, in the wild at least, they cease to exist. This world is under terrible threat, all of it caused by us. To me, every creature, human or nonhuman, has an equal right to live, and this feeling, this belief that every animal and I are equal, affects me every time I frame an animal in my camera. The photos are my elegy to these beautiful creatures, to this wrenchingly beautiful world that is steadily, tragically vanishing before our eyes."
—Nick Brandt, from the Afterword to On This Earth


Nick Brandt is a photographer who photographs exclusively in Africa, one of his goals being to record a visually poetic last testament to the wild animals and places there before they are gone at the hands of man.

Born in 1966 and raised in London, England, Brandt studied Painting, and then Film at St. Martins School of Art. He moved to the United States in 1992 and directed many award-winning music videos for the likes of Michael Jackson (Earth Song, Stranger in Moscow, Cry), Moby, Jewel (singer), Embrace, XTC, (Badly Drawn Boy). It was while directing “Earth Song”, a music video for Jackson in Tanzania, in 1995 that Brandt fell in love with the animals and land of East Africa. Over the next few years, frustrated that he could not capture in film his feelings … for animals, he realized there was a way to achieve this through photography, in a way that he felt had not been done before.

In 2000, Brandt embarked upon his ambitious photographic project: a trilogy of books to memorialize the vanishing natural grandeur of East Africa. … He photographs on medium-format black and white film without telephoto or zoom lenses. (He uses a Pentax 67II with only two fixed lenses.) His work is a combination of epic panoramas of animals within dramatic landscapes … and graphic portraits more akin to studio portraiture … Brandt does not use telephoto lenses because he believes that being close to the animals make a huge difference in his ability to reveal their personality. He writes: “You wouldn't take a portrait of a human being from a hundred feet away and expect to capture their spirit; you'd move in close.”

Although he shoots on film, Brandt scans his negatives, and then dodges and burns the images in Photoshop. He doesn't add or clone animals … the scenes are as he saw them. Brandt's limited edition prints are of two kinds - archival pigment prints using a wide format inkjet printer, and large platinum/palladium prints using giant digitally created contact negatives.

Since 2004, Brandt has had multiple solo exhibitions worldwide, including in New York, Los Angeles at the Fahey Klein Gallery, London, Berlin, Sydney, Munich, Brussels, and Paris. His first large sole museum exhibition was held at Fotografiska Museet in Stockholm, Sweden in October 2011-January 2012.[wikipedia]
Lion Before Storm I by Nick Brandt
  • Lion Before Storm I by Nick Brandt
  • Lion Before Storm I by Nick Brandt
  • Lion Before Storm I by Nick Brandt
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

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    Lionesses Readying to Hunt
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    Thursday, May 20, 2010
    Sotheby's London
    Lot 00108
  • Nick Brandt

    Portrait of lion standing in wind, Maasai Mara
    pigment print
    (H 19.6, W 24.6) in.
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    Saturday, May 15, 2010
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  • Nick Brandt

    Lion before storm I, Maasai Mara
    digital inkjet print
    (H 40.4, W 50) in.
    (102.5 x 127) cm.
    Ed. 3/8
    Sold for: US$17,030
    Thursday, May 15, 2008
    Christie's London
    Lot 00109
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