Joachim Schmeisser (Germany 1958 -)
For years, Joachim Schmeisser (b. 1958) has been photographing the last giants of Africa at close range, creating exceptionally intimate portraits of species threatened with extinction. In his new series, The Last of their Kind, he focuses on the beauty of creation and its fragile transience. These striking images are timeless works that can be interpreted on different levels: as depictions of a distant past or as iconic memories in a not too distant future in which we can only admire these majestic creatures in zoos. They are both an homage and a final warning – visual revelations that sharpen our clouded view of nature in all its infinite complexity as well as recognizing what treasures we might irretrievably lose. In 2012, he won the prestigious Hasselblad Master Award for this work and, in 2017, his book Elephants in Heaven was launched by the German publisher Teneues (the first edition of the book was sold out after 4 months, it‘s now sold in its third edition). In his latest book, The Last of Their Kind, published in 2021, Joachim Schmeisser presents the wild animals of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, where Maasai tribespeople ensure the protection of these endangered creatures. With his breathtaking black-and-white images, Schmeisser brings us up close to these extraordinary animals, creating a powerful document of nature’s splendor and fragility.