Having spent the last 20 years in Africa photographing wildlife alongside the likes of Peter Beard, David Gulden has come to understand that his endeavour is more than one to create appealing artworks, but instead to create a document of the declining landscape of all the precious creatures that live there. In 95 black-and-white photographs that feature tranquility, bursts of action, portraiture, and the natural canvas of the animals and their environments, he visualises for us the concept of global change so famously described by William Yeats in his poem, 'The Second Coming,' and from which the inspired title of this work derives. Join this extraordinary photographer and environmentalist, David Gulden, on a phenomenal personal yet universal safari that until the publication of this book would not have been possible except through actual travel; a safari where nature's creatures are captured with greater intimacy and artistry than one would have thought possible.
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|David Gulden is a native New Yorker who has spent at least half of every year for the past twenty in Africa, primarily in Kenya, where he has fastidiously photographed virtually every form of wildlife across the country from the Masai Mara to Lake Turkana. He has been educated in the United States and is a graduate of The Pomfret School in Connecticut, the National Outdoor Leadership School in Kenya, and Roanoke College in Virginia. |
David Gulden's 2006 photograph of a mother leopard taking a 'late-morning nap' in Kenya's Itong Hills is a revelation. She couldn't be more relaxed. She couldn't be more like your house cat settled on your favorite blanket on the couch. Mr. Gulden is an obsessive, willing to work for years to capture a shot of an animal in its habitat, unconcerned by human encroachment... For a shot of a crowned eagle and its young, the photographer tried dozens of mounds... The final shot of the mother, flying in with green leaves in her talons as her chick looks on, is an astonishing split-second drama. (The Wall Street Journal)
'Gulden's black and white still portraits... are breathtaking... The Centre Cannot Hold is a superb photographic document of a disappearing world.' (Le Journal de la Photographie)
'The product of Gulden's efforts is a beautiful collection of true wildlife photography that provides the reader with a unique perspective of nature—one that is not preoccupied with manicured landscapes, generic compositions, or predictable framing. It's a must-have title for both animal and photography enthusiasts alike.' (Andrew Lasane Complex Art+ Design, October 18, 2012)
Yeats’ poem suggests that the old methods of categorization no longer apply. Gulden captures an animal’s startling individuality by intricate scars on its face, their deaths, and their wriggling tendons and feathers. In an age where technology has made photography more accessible than ever, Gulden preserves the technique that no cutting edge camera in itself can produce: patience. Out of a deep respect for the individual organism, The Center Cannot Hold recognizes that if an individual animal is to be portrayed compassionately, the artist must be willing to wait. (Conor Higgins PMc Magazine, Spring 2015)
Storytelling moments are wonderful because they will draw your audience into the image with you. In this moment, the lion and lioness have their heads together and there is a tenderness in their position. As humans we can put our own feelings into the moment and build a story around our personal interpretation. The magic of these moments cannot be underestimated as a device for grabbing the attention of the viewers. (Noella Ballenger)
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