Elliot Ross was born in Chicago. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1971. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in collections in the United States and abroad, including those of the Bibliothéque nationale de France, Paris; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium. His project Animal has been featured in solo exhibitions and publications in Europe and the United States. FotoMAGAZIN (Germany) published a portfolio of images from Animal as part of its Meisterwerke der Fotografie (Masterpieces of Photography) series in 2008. In 2009, Animal was a finalist for a New York Photo Award. The critically acclaimed book Animal (ISBN: 978 90 5330 730 4) was published by Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam, in 2010. He lives in San Francisco and New York with his wife, the writer Ellen Ullman.
In the case of our relationship with animals, a sense of the difficulty with reality may involve…a sense of astonishment and incomprehension that there should be beings so like us, so unlike us, so astonishingly capable of being companions of ours and so unfathomably distant. How powerfully strange it is that they and we should share as much as we do, and also not share; that they should be capable of incomparable beauty and delicacy and terrible ferocity; that some among them should be so mind-bogglingly weird…in their forms or in their lives.
The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy
Humans face great, perhaps insurmountable obstacles when they try to understand what it would be like to be nonhuman.
When humans imagine animals, we necessarily reimagine ourselves, so these episodes reveal a great deal about notions of the human.
Lorraine Daston and Gregg Mittman
The How and Why of Thinking With Animals
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California, USA.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.
Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium.
Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA.
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California, USA.
University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, USA.
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, USA.
Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, California, USA.
Pomona College Museum of Art, Pomona, California, USA
Animal, Schilt Publishing, Amsterdam, 2010.
Yehudhith, Hawkhaven Press, San Francisco, 2004.
Spleen (after Baudelaire), San Francisco, 1984.