The LPV Collection: Langur Monkey by James Wendell

Langur Monkey

by James Wendell

In his series, The City Naturalist, James explores the world of zoos and animals in the urban environment.  In these photographs the wall between the animals and the humans dissolves, often creating a visual collision between the observer and observed.  Zoos are set up to provide an up close and personal experience with the animals.  These animals, meant for the wild, are kept a safe distance from their human spectators.  When I look at James work, I feel as if this distance has been eroded, as if I’m taken directly into the wild, and chaotic world of the animals.  The imagery strives to return these caged creatures back to their natural habitat.  But it’s never that simple, or romantic, because we are always reminded in some way, that we humans are responsible for putting the animals in their cages.

The tendency might be to romanticize the natural habitat of the animals, but through his complex compositions, James creates a surreal, chaotic world that the frame can barely contain.  Although these are very much still photographs, caught moments, the energy in the frame is palpable.  These animals are alive, living what must be a bewildering life.

We’re excited to offer an exclusive photograph from this series.  In this photograph, a Langur monkey at the Bronx Zoo sits on a tree stump, gaze held off in the distance. Even though there are no visible human traces, we can’t help but feel they are present outside the frame.  Is he looking at his human spectators?  Is he observing them just as much as they are observing him?  As he focusses his gaze off screen, our eye wanders into the psychedelic landscape he inhabits. The lower left third of the frame anchors the composition, grounding it in an encroaching landscape, while the remaining two thirds create an cloudy, ethereal back drop a monkey could easily disappear into.  But this Langur Monkey isn’t going anywhere, he’s proudly sitting on top of his thrown, tale hanging, gaze fixated on a world he nor we probably truly understand.

Print Type: Digital C-type

Print size: 8.5″×11″ – Edition of 50 at $35 each


Print size: 16×20″ – Edition of 5 at $100 each
(Includes a copy of Photographs on the Brain Issue #1)