The Last Supper, Archival Pigment Print, 2018, ed. 12, 132 x 229 cm
THE LAST SUPPER
Montana, USA 2018
The seeds of the idea for this staged image were planted in Art Miami in December. Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” is one of the world’s most recognised paintings and the composition has been recreated for art many times – there is no originality in the concept of a new interpretation. In order not to give a hackneyed offering there had to be creative courage and a fresh set of characters. Montana was my best chance to be creative. I know the ghost village of Nevada City well and I knew exactly where I would shoot. I have worked with Adam – the tame bear – before, he has been used in many films and commercials over the years and is well looked after. Art Students know only too well that the premise for the gap between Jesus and Mary in Da Vinci’s masterpiece is the subject of much debate. The consensual view is that it represents femininity and that Mary’s privileged position on Christ’s right hand side was critical to the symbolism that pervades the work. My focus was to get that V shape as close to Da Vinci’s as possible – not the easiest of briefs given that Jesus was now a bear. There were other factors to be considered. For a start, it was -10 degrees that afternoon and then some of the characters on the set were not the best of friends – a rather feudal rivalry exists between some villages high in the hills of Montana. As much as possible, every character had to take the same pose as in the original and this required quite a bit of pre-shoot tutoring. Da Vinci’s work is maybe not as famous in Nevada City as it is in the Vatican City.
David Yarrow was born in Scotland and is currently based in London. David Yarrow is known for travelling the world’s remotest regions to capture compelling images of nature as we‘ve never seen it before, and is redefining wildlife photography in the process.
His monochrome photographs are bursting with life, vitality and movement, yet the majority of Yarrow’s subject matter, from rampaging bull elephants in Kenya to Inuit hunters and Bornean orangutans, is living on the brink of extinction. This is nature at its most majestic – and its most fragile.
Yarrow’s unorthodox camera angles and unique shooting methods transport the viewer right into the heart of the action; with split-second timing, he crystallises a single instant of drama into an image so immersive that it cannot be viewed in just a few moments. These are photographs to linger over.