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Signed and dated

In Wild Harvest: The Animal Art of Bob Kuhn Tom Davis wrote, “In the realm of wildlife art, there is no more overrated virtue than fidelity to nature. The measure of art is in the beholder’s eye, not the biologist’s calipers. In fact, the artist who practices absolute fidelity to nature, particularly in the depiction of animals in motion, is doomed from the outset. This is because the actual mechanics of movement, as revealed by high-speed photography, are often startlingly different from movement as we perceive it. And perception, as opposed to scientific veracity, is the currency of art.

“It goes without saying that Kuhn’s ability to convey the impression of motion is virtually unmatched. ‘So potent it makes the hair stand up on your arms,’ in the words of a writer for Wildlife Art. In the same magazine, Kuhn elaborated, ‘You have to be able to pick that one instant out of the great flow of motion that is meaningful. Ninety percent of the moves an animal makes aren’t ‘pictographic,’ for lack of a better word...

“‘It’s so obvious when an artist who lacks knowledge of a particular animal tries to portray it in motion. As soon as their photographic reference fails them, they blow it. You have to be able to add what the photograph doesn’t show. It takes knowledge, a plan, and a modest amount of imagination. You may even have to do a little cheating – but you can’t be afraid to change something that looks silly. Just because it’s there, in the photograph, doesn’t mean you have to paint it.’”

The Artist
Private Collection, FL

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