Heart of the Horse :Photography by Juliet Van Otteren : Hardcover
Juliet van Otteren's expressive portraits convey the power and elemental majesty of horses in a way we've never seen before, portraying these complex beings in their infinite subtleties of mood. Regaliz, a magnificent black stallion, frankly assesses the camera; Uther, an Andalusian, adopts a pensive air; Senta and Manrico, a pair of siblings, cavort together, as the exuberant young of nearly all species do--in her images van Otteren explores the full scope of equine emotions. One study after another captures the profound relationships among these horses and illuminates their rich inner lives.
More abstract images urge us to consider the beauty of detail: mane on silky mane, a dark, sloping neck against a salt-and-pepper one, the voluptuous curve of a belly, a black eye floating above the suggestion of a cheekbone. In these photographs, shape, texture, light, and shadow distill the essence of the horse, encompassing more than the whole in its fraction.
Essays by best-selling novelist and physicist Alan Lightman contemplate the special bond humans and horses share, and indeed extend that bond to all creatures. His deeply personal insights into our relationships with animals, whether the family pet or a wild bird, accent the indefinable but certain link we have with other sentient beings. He also addresses questions of perception inherent in van Otteren's photographs: whether motion can be frozen in time, how a particular set of lines and shadings might be construed as filaments of a horse tail or as the branching of frost crystals or the tributaries of a river.
For lovers of horses and all those who appreciate fine art photography, Heart of the Horse celebrates this most charismatic of animals in unforgettable black and white images and thoughtful prose.