From Kerrie O’Brien’s article about the recently-published Phaidon book “Animal: Exploring the Zoological World” for Sierra Magazine:
The zoological world is a work of art. It doesn’t exist for art’s sake, of course. Animals have their own intrinsic value. But we as humans have long seen animals as beautiful or intriguing and in need of depiction, from cave paintings to high-res scientific imagery.
“Animals and humans have been inexorably linked for as long as our species has been in existence,” writes Harvard zoologist James Hanken in the introduction of Animal: Exploring the Zoological World. We have hunted, domesticated, and too-often destroyed animals. Yet we also revere and study them—and incorporate them into our folklore and artistic expression.
Animal: Exploring the Zoological World (Phaidon Press, 2018) is a compilation of this relationship between animals and art. Curated by a team of editors, historians, and zoologists, the book delivers 300 photographs and illustrations of animals, ranging a wide span of our historic journey to get to know with whom we share this planet, from the largest mammals to the infinitesimal nematode.