mr. mittens (akmed) wrote,
mr. mittens

petits et grands

for many, many years i have been coming across the most amazing black and white animal pictures- usually in second hand children's books. once, way back when the Harvest food co-op was in allston too( in central square it was previously downstairs where the 'artist and craftsman' is now. very small though and dumpy. the allston store aka boston food co-op was always bigger and more like a regular supermarket.) and they had the hallowed hippie institution known as the Freestore( boy, i fucking miss the Freestore...), we found a stack of these books with those magical photos by the mysterious photographer with only one name- Ylla.

i am not sure why it has taken me so long to go to the over flowing font of wisdom- the all knowing internets- to look up the picture snapping goddess known as Ylla. it was always surprising and disappointing to never come across new material- her output seemed to be from the 40s and 50s and i never saw anything in color. i was sadden to discover that she had died in 1955, the result of an accident while filming a ' bullock cart race'(?) in india. her birth name was Camilla Koffler and she may have been the greatest animal photographer there has ever been.

that she had a rapport with creatures is undeniable. her photographs radiate love of and caring for her animal subjects. her books were best sellers around the world and her photographs still appear in exhibitions across the globe. she didn't ' take pictures' of cats, dogs, farm and wild animals, she took portraits of them as seemingly willing sitters.

there is an archive of her work at the university of arizona. especially since the internets was created by al gore to showcase pictures of cats, how many truly great, beautiful, meaningful photos of cats do you ever see? we desperately need more ylla as we drown in a sea of uninspired soulless digital mush.

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