|Notes on TECHNO-COLOR EYES
There was a time when the animals that star in Eric Slayton's diorama images made national headlines: Explorers were the heroes of their day, returning from remote corners of the world with new specimens like generals bearing the spoils of war. It was the beginning of our relationship with nature behind glass. Slayton considers this series a scientific-based art form, though his images have a historical, almost nostalgic, feel, too, as if they were taken during an expedition before the age of safari vacations and live animals behind glass in Vegas.
For this series, shot at various natural history museums, Slayton switched from black and white to color, working with a color scheme reminiscent of '70s cibachrome."I'm not a nature and wildlife photographer, so I didn't want the work to be too literal," he says. "The images in this series are not just about animal life, but also about how color transforms them into plastic nature." The scenes that Slayton turns his lens on lead us to reconsider our relationship with nature. At the first glance, that rhino might just be real; during the second take, uncertainty sets in (wait a minute…); and by the third look, we're asking ourselves, What exactly does it mean to "capture" nature anyway?