Pictura Gallery

Single Image Crush | Michael Sherwin

March 31, 2022

Red Fox

In Picura’s new exhibition of Michael Sherwin’s Vanishing Points, I’m arrested by one particular image — the perfect form of a lifeless red fox, cast onto the shoulder of the road. The life cannot have left very long before the photograph was made. Silken black legs are rigid in mid-stride. The fox’s beautiful eye is still open. Sherwin has stopped to pay respect. The animal, and its death, are clearly detailed in the foreground; the road’s distant vanishing point is a blur.

It’s not like I haven’t seen photographers shoot road kill before. But this one stays projected when I close my eyes. Maybe it’s the perfect elegance of the fox. More likely, it’s a nagging sense of significant meaning, of life displaced or abruptly terminated while still in its prime.

For me, the image is a reflection on modern man’s ecologically destructive systems. The layers of topography present in this one frame help me imagine the changes in the land over time. Trees give way to grassland, which turns to an intermediary strip of weeds mixed with gravel, and then the abrupt and lethal pavement of the American highway.

- Lisa Woodward

You can view more of Michael’s work here