From March 1st until April 25th and to celebrate the launch of the eponymous book, Echo Fine Arts presents «The Last of Their Kind»: an online solo show featuring twenty-four large-format black and white animal portraits by German photographer Joachim Schmeisser. For years, the Hasselblad Masters winner has been photographing the last giants of Africa at close range, creating exceptionally intimate portraits of species threatened with extinction. In his series «The Last Of Their Kind», he focuses on the beauty of creation and its fragile transience. These striking images are timeless works that can be interpreted on different levels: as depictions of a distant past or as iconic memories in a not too distant future in which we can only admire these majestic creatures in zoos. They are both an homage and a final warning highlighting some of the treasures we might irretrievably lose.
“What interests me is what lies beneath the surface, out of sight, the quiet yet intense encounters. I’d like you to see my images as a window into this fascinating world, one that is the same as our own yet so very unfamiliar.
They are intended to raise awareness of the beauty and limitless diversity of our natural world, where everything is connected to everything else. Protecting nature is our most important mission.”
Born in Germany in 1958, Joachim Schmeisser is best known for his major photographic series he has done in East Africa – his iconic portraiture of Elephants – especially the Orphan Elephants at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.
He started this project in 2009 – during a stopover on a trip to the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and the Hadzabe in Tanzania. Everything changed once he found himself surrounded by these baby elephants and his short travel break turned into a wonderful friendship and terrific project. It is still ongoing even today and has become a matter close to his heart.
In 2012, Joachim Schmeisser won the prestigious Hasselblad Award for this work. In 2017 his book «Elephants in Heaven» was launched by the German Publisher teNeues and sold out within 4 months. His following book, “Hall of Giants” shows a selection of large-format portraits of some of the oldest and largest bull elephants in Africa as well as young elephants that have the potential to grow into Big Tuskers. All of the photographs were taken with medium-format cameras without the use of remote control devices or long lenses. These close-ups are extremely rare in the genre of wildlife photography. Of the Big Tuskers in Amboseli, they are the only ones that exist in this form.
His upcoming release, which is entitled «The Last Of Their Kind», will be published in Spring 2021 by teNeues.
Joachim Schmeisser : The Last of Their Kind
March 01– April 25, 2021
Echo Fine Arts
A percentage of each fine art print sale will be donated to the Sheldrick Wildlife Foundation’s programme entitled «Sponsor an Orphan».