Working with a menagerie of insects and animals she raises in her New York City loft, Catherine Chalmers make images that ask the viewer to examine lives that are ordinarily overlooked. Her most notable photographic series, Food Chain, sketches with vivid immediacy the links between predator and prey, eater and eaten, from plant to insect to amphibian. Chalmers places predator and prey before a stark white background and then lets nature take its course. Another series focused on "pinkies" (the pet trade name for baby mice), shows with chilling clarity that the laws of nature apply equally to mammals as to the so-called "lower" life forms. Stark, colorful and arresting, Chalmers’s images reinvent natural history for a culture increasingly distanced from nature.
Catherine Chalmers, Pinkies, 1995-97, Nursing, C-print ed. of 10, 40" x 60", courtesy RARE