Unwrapped and Unleashed: Our guide to the season's best gifts
The sleek, aerodynamic beauty of the Greyhound is captured fabulously in the photography of Barbara Karant. Inspired by the beauty as well as the sweet disposition of this racing breed, Karant has created a book that will make anybody a Greyhound lover.
THE MIAMI HERALD
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Paging through: Celebs, Punks & Greyhounds star in coffee-table gift books.
We know greyhounds mainly as sleek athletes, but Jonathan Swift caught the breed's true nature in his writing: ''A greyhound out-runs the whole pack in a race, yet would rather be hang'd than he'd leave a warm place.'' Photographer Karant, president of Greyhounds Only Inc., has captured the dogs' sweet and frequently goofy nature. Her book also displays her subjects in all their strength, dignity and elegance (and a portion of proceeds from sales will be donated to rescue organizations). With gentle humor she confirms a truism novelist Alice Sebold writes in the introduction: ``To live among greyhounds is to live with beauty.''
The Who/ The How/ The Now
What happens when a dog is downsized? Barbara Karant's Photographs of retired racing dogs in Greyhounds (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) make you want to run right out and adopt one. In the spirit of the season, some of the book's profits will go to a rescue fund for the royal breed.
CHICAGO MAGAZINE: FIVE FOR FALL
Look! A Coffee Table Gem
Think grace under pressure. Think speed matched only by tranquility. Or think, as the songwriter Neko Case writes, "The Bob Newhart of dogs - subtle, smart and hilarious." This is the goal of the Chicago- based architecture photographer Barbara Karant in her new book, Greyhounds: to open a reader's mind to the beauty and personalities of this lithe and leggy dog.
From pampered favorites of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs to trackside amusements for South Florida gamblers, greyhounds have run the gamut as animal companions. With a lineage that spans 8,000 years, the greyhound has proved its staying power with the human race. Now Karant turns her lends towards capturing greyhounds' unique physiques, both as a celebration of the dogs themselves and as a way to promote public awareness of those who need a life after the finish line.
Sandwiched between Karant's photos are essays by some heavy hitters: best-selling author Alice Sebold, National Book Award finalist Alan Lightman, the poet Yvonne Zipter, and the songwriter Case. But
the stars of this book are the stunning photos.
Set against a seamless white background, the various dogs both project serenity and a barely contained energy. Karant uses her skills as a design photographer, cropping the pictures to showcase the architecture of the dogs’ bodies: delicately crossed ankles; wide muscled chests; long sleek necks flowing into seal-like heads. Some stare the camera down wile others play around, clownishly cocking their ears. As Sebold writes, "These are not the classic poses of greyhounds, usually seen in paintings or statues - dogs as decorative object." Rather, Karant's greyhounds engage any viewer with their faces, intelligence, and gracefulness.
-Marcia Froelke Coburn
If a book can save a dog, this one just might. Photographer Barbara Karant, nationally know for her work in the design, art and architecture communities, adopted a retired racing Greyhound, fell in love and committed herself to finding homes for more of these lithe, quizzical creatures. She approaches this task from two directions: as president of the rescue group, Greyhounds Only, and through the camera's lens.
Treating these gorgeous dogs like fine art or priceless porcelain, she photographs them against a white background, the better to show off their sculpted, elongated forms. The dogs are almost architectural in their elegance: a trio of slim necks curve in the same direction; narrow heads point upward; a forest of long legs weave a graceful pattern.
Karant brings her finely trained sense of line and color to her work, photographing the dogs in a kaleidoscope of poses and expressions.
Complementing the visual, Alice Sebold, of Lovely Bones fame, writes tenderly about the Greyhound’s appeal, as well as the efforts so many people make to save them, to give them the homes and attention every dog deserves. In her introduction, Sebold confesses to a lifelong and unconditional love of dogs, a love not dependant upon a specific behavior, or turn of ear of length of muzzle. Nonetheless, her description evokes the iconic nature of the breed: "A dog is a dog is a dog. Except, perhaps, when a dog is also a dragon, an athlete, a beautifully articulated dancer, a fine long bow's quiver, a mythic beat seen
from a distance that occupies your dreams. This, for me, has always been
A portion of the profits from this book will benefit Greyhound Rescue.
The otherworldly beauty, quiet grace, and loving disposition of the retired racing greyhound were Barbara Karant’s inspiration for Greyhounds. By photographing her subjects against a pristine white background, she captures the dogs’ indomitable spirit—their spunk, humor, mystery, and charm.
Karant’s gloriously expressive pictures, along with evocative texts by Alice Sebold, Alan Lightman, Yvonne Zipter and Neko Case make this book a wonderful gift for anyone who has ever shared his or her life with a dog. You can place your book order with Amazon.com
Notable: Dog tales
Greyhounds (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) by Barbara Karant, with an introduction by Alice Sebold, is a collection of photographs gorgeous and sometimes goofy of the sleek breed; profits benefit greyhound rescue groups.