NOBODY'S TROPHY, 2020
Archival Pigment Print on 315gsm Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta Paper
Each is signed, dated and numbered on the front.
Edition Size: 12
Available in the following sizes:
Print Size: 37" x 53"
Framed Size: 48” x 64" (122 cm x 163 cm)
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Print Size: 56" x 79"
Framed Size: 67” x 90” (170 cm x 229 cm)
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Framed in David Yarrow's custom black ash frame with white archival mat and UV protective acrylic.
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David Yarrow's Statement about NOBODY'S TROPHY:
I asked the team in London to find me all post 1945 photographs of elephants together with beautiful women. We knew of course where to start - the celebrated 1955 Richard Avedon shot of Dovima taken in Paris with circus elephants, but then we also found Kate Moss, Christy Turlington with Indian elephants and Doutzen with an African elephant for a Vogue editorial story. Gregory Colbert also did some authentic work in South East Asia. The records show images such as these with truly beautiful and iconic women, but never with an iconic African elephant in the wild. There was always a mismatch with the animal kingdom being less well represented than the human kingdom.
I therefore sensed that there was a gap to be filled. Avedon’s photograph from 1955 is iconic and has rare value, but petting elephants that work in circuses does not sit comfortably in a 2020 script. Rightly or wrongly, there is no room for this kind of studio narrative in this era of liberal enlightenment. I am no “woke” but I cannot conceive of creating art with a tame elephant - not after so many years working in Amboseli with the greatest wild elephants in the world.
Our investment of time, emotion and money in Amboseli has spanned 10 years, and this was the time to leverage our network in the region. We already had so many constituent parts of a demanding production in place, especially the Maasai team who would search for Craig from 5.30 am on their mopeds and my guide, driver and friend of 10 years - Juma - who knew Craig’s moods better than I appear to know those of my immediate family. It was emboldening also to have the full support of the KWS and its Chief Warden in Amboseli - Daniel Kipkosgei.
And so it was, that we persuaded Lorena Rae - the leading German model of her generation, and a regular on the catwalk of the acclaimed Victoria’s Secret shows - to take time out of her busy European schedule and come with her team to the dustbowl of Amboseli.
We had five days to try and create something remarkable and we needed all five. So many variables had to work in our favour for my idea to come off and at all times Lorena’s safety was at the forefront of our minds. In the first three days, we got nothing either because Craig was found in dense shrubs or more challengingly, because he was with at least half a dozen other big bulls. The evening after failing twice, I hit a bit of a low and felt vulnerable. If this continued, we could easily fail when we had so many good cards in our hands.
Then one glorious morning in late September it all came together. Lorena was up at 4 am for hair and makeup - a little earlier than in previous days as I sensed we were always a little behind where I wanted to be at sunrise as the sun can get harsh past 8 am. By 7am we were at the Maasai meeting point and had found Craig in open land with Kilimanjaro towering above him. He did have two other elephants with him, but they seemed mellow. We both jumped out of the jeep and with the instructions of the local team, I took Lorena to within 15 feet from Craig. I then fell back to get the necessary distance between us for the composition to work.
We had to work quickly as to have two people out of the jeep with Craig put added pressure on the rangers. I remember feeling an unprecedented sense of visual overload - after all, in the viewfinder, I had Africa’s tallest mountain, Africa’s most famous big tusker and one of the world’s most stunning women. This was taking the concept of filling the frame to a new level and this was in the wild not a studio. My favourite quote on photography is from Jim Richardson “If you want to be a better photographer, put more interesting stuff in front of the camera”. Well, here you go, Jim!
The final vignette is better than Lorena and I could ever have imagined and I think it will stand the test of time. When we looked into the LCD screen on the back of the Nikon D850, we could barely believe our eyes. All credit to her, she looks stunning and emotionally in control, despite what was right behind her.
DAVID YARROW BIOGRAPHY:
Born Glasgow, Scotland in 1966., David Yarrow took up photography at an early age and as a 20-year-old found himself working as a photographer for The London Times on the pitch at the World Cup Final in Mexico City. On that day, David took the famous picture of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup and, as a result, he was subsequently asked to cover the Olympics and numerous other sporting events.
Yarrow’s evocative and immersive photography of life on earth is most distinctive and it has earned him an ever growing following among collectors. He has firmly established himself as one of the bestselling fine art photographers in the world, with the limited edition prints regularly selling at over $70,000 and with recent work selling in the six figures at auction.
At the Sotheby’s photography auction in London in May 2017, Yarrow’s iconic image from South Sudan – MANKIND – was sold for $75,000, the highest of the 100 lots in the show. In April of 2018 year David’s image “The Wolf of Main Street” sold for $100,000 and was the highest bid for piece by a living photographer. Most recently “78 Degrees North” went for an even more impressive $110,000.
In 2016, Rizzoli New York published Yarrow’s latest book – Wild Encounters – with a foreword written by HRH The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William). The book was awarded “Art Book of 2017” by Amazon and has already sold out a second print run. All Yarrow’s royalties from the book continue to be donated to Tusk, the leading British NGO that focuses on animal conservation in Africa.
Philanthropy and conservation are central to David Yarrow’s passion to document the animal and human world in a fresh and creative way. In 2019 charitable donations from the sale of David’s images exceeded $2.5 million.
David Yarrow is brand ambassador for Land Rover and UBS Bank; he is European ambassador for Nikon Camera. In December 2017 he shot Tag Heuer LVMH’s latest “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” campaign with model and actress Cara Delevingne. In January 2019, David collaborated with American icon Cindy Crawford.
In September 2019, Rizzoli published Yarrow's 368 page photography monograph, showcasing 150 of David’s strongest images from the past two years. The book features a foreword written by global NFL star Tom Brady and an afterword written by American cultural icon Cindy Crawford. All royalties from this book will be donated to conservation charities Tusk, in the UK and WildAid, in the US.