Persephone is part of my Behind Glass series, which is a collection of portraits of primates in captivity. The title refers to the glass or boundaries of an enclosure, but it is also a metaphor for the distance modern man has put between himself and nature. Often I find myself gazing into the eyes of a monkey, his hand touching the glass wall that separates our worlds. The animal’s candid stare, the reflection of glass, and the frame of a window are all elements that work together to create a story that deserves to be told. The pictorial portraits are beautiful but hauntingly so. Primates especially are able to remind people of the undeniable connection between man and animal, and this feeling evokes nostalgia for a time when man was part of nature. I photograph animals to get people to truly look at them, to hear their inner sound, and to consider their value and their place in the world. My photographs are a voice for the animals. I assist animal non-profits in three ways: by making photo books for them to use as they wish, by licensing images at no cost, and by producing awareness-raising gallery exhibits and blog essays.
Selected by Julian Cox, Curator of Photography and Chief Curator at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.