Those closest to me know that the fastest way to cheer me up when I’m glum is to show me anything to do with animals. A koala gif or a squirrel meme are an instant antidepressant, and if there’s a news story about a rescued bear cub then I’m on a high for a week. Because it’s impossible to feel down in the face of the pep and personality that animals bring to the world, any chance I get to combine my love of critters with my passion for decor, I’m all over it like stink on a monkey. Which is why these animal portrait prints from the new Kingdom by Randal Ford project have me grinning from ear to ear.
Randal Ford is an Austin-based photographer whose work has appeared on the cover of Time and Audubon magazines, as well as in print ads for companies ranging from Dr. Pepper to Verizon and beyond. His signature hyperreal style lends itself brilliantly to his singular approach to animal portraiture, in which every plume and whisker, tusk and hoof, is in ultra sharp focus. The resulting images capture at once the dynamism and power of his subjects, as well as their vulnerability and emotional presence. His work is not only aesthetically resonant, but hugely relevant in today’s all-important conversations about the impact of human interactions with the natural world.
After scrolling through the extensive menagerie in the Kingdom by Randal Ford catalog, I’m of course brainstorming how I’d bring these furry and feathered friends into my home! The mischievous raccoon baby would be charming in the kitchen, while the lounging chimpanzee would be hilarious as an oversized print over the bed. And I’ve bookmarked the baby lion for the not-so-distant future when I have a nursery to decorate—because if I have any say in it, my kids are going to flip for animals just as much as I do!
Images courtesy of Randal Ford. P.S. Presenting my all-time favorite riddle to brighten your Monday! Q: What did the koala say when he found out he wasn’t really a bear? A: “But I have all the koalafications!”