David Yarrow’s Beasts: Sharks, Bears, and Casper Ruud

“I feel very honored to be a part of his amazing work.”–Casper Ruud on David Yarrow’s photography.  

Yarrow’s Beasts: Spend 30 hours in the water with sharks. Follow polar bears from place to place. Study their habitat, their ways.  Find the best place in the world to shoot them. All you need is black and white. The sublime of nature.  Not God’s smiling flowers or psychedelic sunsets, but nature red in tooth and claw. Immersion. Intimacy. Two words that Yarrow lives by. Get as close or closer than Caravaggio did when he painted Christ so that you’re there in the tomb when the body’s laid in it. Yarrow’s first big photo was a shark fully engaged in a moment of predatory joy. Extraordinary closeups of bears and bison and lions followed where the camera “lens looks two ways,”* both into the eyes of the predator and into our own momentary terror of Darwinian truth. Kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten. Immersion. Intimacy. Nature. 

“Jaws,” Photographic Artwork by David Yarrow

Casper Ruud as Viking: Black and white. Clouds and crags. Gudvangen, Norway. Vikings emerge from the water’s shadowy past of terror, half-human creatures that care little for what we or our civilization think. Ruud ‘s animal skin cannot conceal a chiseled chest and face, a perfectly muscled core. The Vikings practiced sports with rocks and stones. Ruud would have beaten them all with that forehand of his thrown at 4,000 rpm with the accuracy and determination that could kill a man. Tennis is “cock-fighting for civilized people.” No blood is shed, but the practice of war is the same. The forehand’s the sword. The backhand’s the shield.

*Yarrow’s favorite quote from Ansel Adams.

Artist Bio: David Yarrow is recognised as one of the world’s best-selling photographers. He has found his true comfort zone in capturing the animal and human world in a fresh and creative way. A key part of his success has been creating art through partnerships with a philanthropic objective and this has enabled him to work with leading figures in sport, fashion and Hollywood such as Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Ciara and Russell Wilson, and Alessandra Ambrosio. Since 2019, charitable donations from the sale of David’s images have exceeded $10m.

David Yarrow was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966. He 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, was subsequently asked to cover the Olympics and numerous other sporting events. His distinctive work in recent years has earned him an ever growing following amongst art collectors. Yarrow is now represented by some of the top contemporary galleries around the world. In the Autumn of 2022, Rizzoli published David’s third book, Storytelling.

For more on David Yarrow’s amazing work, check out his website. For an engaging interview and excellent introduction to his work, check out Masters of Photography.

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