Pryramiden, Svalbard 2019 ...Read More; I know Pyramiden quite well - I have visited 4 times. It is a largely abandoned Russian mining town that sits at 78.2 degrees north - making it the most northerly community in the world. Only six people now live there full time, but it remains a ghostly reminder of the USSR. Soviet culture, architecture and politics permeate the town, from the block-style housing to the bust of Lenin—the world's northernmost statue of that communist revolutionary— which gazes down, fatherly and proud, on Pyramiden's main square.
I have always wanted to get a big photograph of this creepy place, but I needed winter, winds and a palpable sense of the frozen north. This is not a place to photograph in the summer. Most of all I needed a polar bear. In early spring 2019, I had my moment.
There is enough detail in the background layer of this photograph to make out factory buildings, chimneys, carts and tracks and indeed a disused mineshaft. The light was kind and the wind ferocious. With the wind chill, this was as cold as I can remember working with a camera. I had to wear one glove and manual focus was not easy. This was not a time to use autofocus on that bear - not with the wind and medley of whites.
The photograph is a indeed a big photograph - bigger than I could have possibly wished for. There is a large amount of luck involved as the adult female bear came into town at the perfect time - one of just 5 adult bears we saw in Svalbard that week.
This is the land of norse legends, myths and fables. The photograph is so visually detached from our day to day experiences that it looks like a fairytale or a painting. This is surely my Game of Thrones moment and now I have seen what is North of the Wall.
This photograph was taken whilst leading an assignment with @naturalworldsafaris - a special thank you to the brilliant team there for organising the adventure.
Available Sizes (Framed Size); Large: 71' x 102' (180 cm x 259 cm); Standard: 52' x 72' (132 cm x 183 cm); Available Editions; Large: Edition of 12; Standard: Edition of 12
David Yarrow was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966. He took up photography at an early age and as a 20 year old, he 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, he was subsequently asked to cover the Olympics and numerous other sporting events. But he refused to be pigeonholed and his interests expanded as he grew into himself. It was only many years later, that he found his true comfort zone in documenting the natural world and the last eight years have been career defining.
Yarrow's evocative and immersive photography of life on earth is most distinctive and it has earned him an ever growing following amongst art collectors. His large monochrome images made in Los Angeles are on display in many leading galleries and museums across Europe and North America and his work is also a regular feature at established art fairs. By the spring of 2017, he had firmly established himself as one of the bestselling fine art photographers in the world, with the limited edition prints (just 12 in an edition) regularly selling at over $40,000 a piece and his well-received recent work is now priced even higher.
At the Sotheby's photography auction in London in May - Yarrow's iconic image from South Sudan - Mankind - was sold for $75,000 - the highest of the 100 lots in the show. In April the following year David's image "The Wolf of Main Street" sold for $100,000 and was the highest bid for piece by a living photographer and most recently "78 Degrees North" went for an impressive $110,000.
In 2016, Rizzoli New York published his latest book - Wild Encounters - with a foreword written by HRH The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William). The book was awarded "Art Book of 2017" by Amazon and has already sold out a second print run. All Yarrow's royalties from the book continue to be donated to Tusk, the leading British NGO, that focuses on animal conservation in Africa.
Philanthropy and conservation are indeed central to David Yarrow's passion to document the animal and human world in a fresh and creative way. In 2017, charitable donations from the sale of David's images exceeded $1.2 million, with four of David's pieces raising $186,000 in just a few minutes at the Tusk Gala dinner in New York City in April 2017.
In North America, he is represented by two leading photographic galleries in Holden Luntz in Palm Beach and Izzy in Toronto, as well as broader art galleries such as Samuel Lynne in Dallas and Miller in Cincinnati. In Europe, David has a very strong presence in the Baltic - with Oslo, Antwerp and Amsterdam all key venues. David's most recent partners Maddox have been extremely popular in both London and Gstaad.
Yarrow's position in the industry has been rewarded with a wide range of advisory and ambassadorial roles. In conservation, he is an ambassador for WildArk, on the advisory board of Tusk and Ambassador to the Kevin Richardson Foundation (). In 2017 Land Rover also appointed David as a global ambassador and creative partner. He is the European ambassador for Nikon and has recently been integral to the companies most anticipated Camera release of the last decade. In December 2017 he shot TAG Heuer's latest campaign with Cara Delevingne.
His status as an artist and conservationist was confirmed in June 2017 when he was invited for a private lunch with President George W. Bush in Dallas, Texas.
180.3 × 259.1, Edition of 12 + 3AP - Contact for price;
132.1 × 182.9, Edition of 12 + 3AP - Contact for price