'Essence of the Thoroughbred' on Exhibit

'Essence of the Thoroughbred' on Exhibit
Photo: Neil Latham
This close-up of Zenyatta is part of a fine arts photography exhibit created by Neil Latham of New York.

An exhibit featuring more than 25 large-scale black and white photographs of some of American's premier racehorses and stallions will open June 9 at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Manhattan.

Being exhibited is the work of commercial photographer Neil Latham, who spent two years crisscrossing the country pursuing a vision—to capture the essence of the Thoroughbred.

"I'm intrigued by the juxtaposition of strength and power with beauty and fragility, the illustration of determination and character through taut muscles and coursing veins after a fast-paced run, the wild spirit of a charging herd," Latham said. "I've never felt as deeply about anything as I have about this work."

Mitchell: Latham's Quest for Excellence

Latham used medium- and large-format film cameras and shot only in natural lighting. 

"To portray true essence, the image has to be truthful. I used film because it can't be manipulated like digital photography," he said. "Film also gives a softness and subtlety that enhanced the emotional connection."

With his subjects challenging enough on their own, Latham also used a unique portable studio with a black backdrop 20 feet tall and 36 feet wide held up with industrial stands, staked to the ground. The entire set had to be rotated 10 degrees every 15 minutes to maintain the perfect angle to the sun.

His subjects include A.P. Indy, Curlin  , Ghostzapper  , Tapit  , and two newest inductees into the National Racing Hall of Fame, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta.

Called "Neil Latham: American Thoroughbred," the exhibit will run through July 29. An opening reception will be held June 9 6-8 p.m. at 515 W. 26th St., New York City. 


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