Andrew Schneider’s Cruel Beauty
Over at his website, U.K.-based photographer Andrew Schneider displays a wide variety of styles in several collections, but the one which most caught my eye was that titled Cruel Beauty. The collection – which draws its title from a quote by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu – is simply an up-close look at a series of flowers. But don’t let the simplicity mislead you: Cruel Beauty is a dark, spellbinding work.
The macro nature morte photography against a jet black background is engrossing enough on its own, but Schneider’s close eye for detail and unique stylistic slant bring something entirely new to an old medium.
Special highlights for me are a group of pictures of flowers tied up or sewn through with black thread. With titles such as Gagging Order and Bound Yellow, these photos leave their viewer with a disquieting feeling of regret that will be familiar to anyone struggling to cope in a world where nature is often defiled by man’s domineering presence.