Nicolas Bruant

Wild Beasts

There are many ways of confronting Africa.
For Nicolas Bruant, it is not just a question of photography, but also what will become the focus of his fascination.
There has to be a special approach, a way of processing his chosen subjects.

Nicolas Bruant embraced the opportunity to photograph animals in Africa, yet he is not a specialist either in animals in general, nor of a particular species. He is not a naturalist. The world of animals, which he reveals here, expresses in the most effective way possible the essence of a continent, which is recognised, not by its appearance but through its intimacy.

There is no preoccupation with animals or behavioural descriptions. Nicolas Bruant’s beasts do not fit into any classification. His work is characterised by the fact that the photographer does not seem to be disturbed or changed by anything.

Plunged into muddy backwaters, hidden in tall grasses or submerged by fog, Bruant seems to become one of the savannah’s inhabitants, endlessly playing the game of life and death.

He is anything but a hunter, for he does not stalk. He only fixes on that which transpires between the predator and his prey.

He is at the heart of this constant carnage that is Africa, yet it is not the significance of the actual image he captures, so much as the sensitivity he reveals between fear and threat.

The result is not an adventure – there is no advantage in the search. It is an identification.

The technique? Only amateurs believe in technique.

Robert Delpire

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