Photographer David Yarrow brings fine art to Aspen
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David Yarrow will give a free artist’s talk at the Casterline Goodman gallery on Monday, Dec. 30, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. A free reception with wine and snacks also will take place at the gallery from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Yarrow’s work will be on display through March.
A large portrait of a wolf walking atop the bar of a Montana saloon, surrounded by people exuding wild west-like characteristics, hangs on a large white wall in Aspen’s Casterline Goodman Gallery.
Adjacent to the frame, a similar sized black-and-white photograph of a young woman behind the wheel of a convertible with a cougar in her passenger seat, its paws resting on the top of the windshield, also is on display.
As renowned British photographer David Yarrow looked around the local gallery at these two pieces, and the nearly dozen others he created, on Sunday he said it made him feel a sense of accomplishment.
“The picture is the final end product of a lot of homework,” Yarrow said. “It’s a pleasurable end of the journey.”
From taking a famous photo of Diego Maradona holding up the World Cup in 1986 to capturing images of bears, elephants and other mammals from as close a distance as possible, Yarrow is known for his evocative and immersive fine art photography of life, according to his website.
After an over 60-hour trip from London to Aspen filled with flight delays and a drive in from Denver, Yarrow talked about how he photographs what is interesting to him, and saw a need for wildlife photography that evokes more emotion.
“I don’t like being labeled a wildlife photographer,” Yarrow explained when asked about how he became interested in wildlife photography. “I thought that it was time to increase awareness of what’s going on in our world and that maybe animals are not being photographed in the way they could to illicit an emotional reaction.”
But it’s not just the thoughtful reaction Yarrow is after. It’s also about creating a sense of authenticity.
He said he and his team spend a lot of time in the “preconception process,” conducting a lot of research, planning every inch of each photograph down to the last detail and ensuring his work is bigger and better than before.
“Sometimes I try to watch people’s reactions; it’s the rewarding part of the job,” Yarrow said. “I hope people look for a long time and I hope they see a level of detail they haven’t seen before.”
Outside of his dedication to pushing boundaries and “emptying the bucket” for each photo he creates, Yarrow also said he is dedicated to giving back to charity.
Over 2019, Yarrow said he raised more than $3 million for conservation organizations like Tusk Trust, WildArk and the Kevin Richardson Foundation. Yarrow said he knows that because he can sell his photos for thousands of dollars, it’s important for him to be philanthropic.
“You know the idea ‘invest with purpose, work with purpose.’ This gives my work an extra meaning if I can raise a sum like $3 million to give back,” Yarrow said.
On Monday, Yarrow will host a talk with the public at the Casterline Goodman gallery from 3 to 4 p.m., where he plans to share the stories behind some of his work.
He said Aspen is the 17th city he’s visited this year to show his fine-art photography, and is happy he’s finishing 2019 out with his pieces on display at Casterline Goodman.
“This is a beautiful gallery that is perfect for my work,” Yarrow said. “This is a great place to end the year in and a really high note to end on.”
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International visitors have traditionally accounted for 10 to 20 percent of Aspen Skiing Co.’s skier visits in recent past seasons. Travel fears and restrictions tied to the coronavirus are expected to wipe out most of that market for 2020-21.