This is such a simple portrait of Elmo - a Western lowland Silverback gorilla. The photograph makes no claim to be anything else than a facial study. The flat lighting helps elevate the textural detail, and its simplicity is its strength. With less facial hair - especially on the forehead than a mountain gorilla and narrower bone structures-they look more like humans than their cousins from higher altitudes. They are very firmly on the anthropologist’s road map.
The photograph could be a painting by a Dutch master, and the gorilla himself reminds me of some people I know - mostly people in authority. There is a calm wisdom, a steely fortitude and a whiff of sovereignty. He is a Senator - a man representing his people.