|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Age Like an Animal
I live in one of those pockets of the city where old people reign. Couples who have come to look like siblings stroll down the parkway, arms linked, feet shuffling. White-haired ladies hold up the grocery store lines with their old-school coupons, clipped from paper circulars. It makes me wonder how I will age. Will I be a glamorous Nora Ephron-esque type, reading the Times in a cafe? Or, probably more likely, one of those potato-shaped women in a housecoat, walking a cat on a leash?
Isa Leshko was thinking about aging when she began her Elderly Animals project. After spending a year caring for her elderly parents, Leshko found herself taking lush, black-and-white photographs of, well, elderly animals, like Handsome One, the 33-year-old horse pictured above. According to her artist's statement, the photographs have allowed her to "take an honest and an unflinching look at my fears relating to my own mortality...." It's not often that we see unvarnished imagery of aging. It's also not often that farm animals like these actually are allowed to age. All of which makes these photographs both beautiful and sad, and impossible to look away from.
Visit Leshko's site to see more of these photographs, which will change the way you look at both aging and animals. (The noble, knowing look on the elderly rooster's face is truly remarkable.) There's also a short film, created by Walley Films, that reveals the circumstances in Leshko's life that led her to these animals -- plus, information on upcoming shows of Leshko's work in Houston and Pittsburgh.
What Nobody Tells You About Aging
The Agony and Ecstasy of Getting Older
Caring for Your Elderly Parents
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.