FotoFest Exhibitions

Erika Larsen


Click to enlarge and for more images


An obvious context for predator and prey, one often seen as nostalgic, recreational, and related to the American sensibility of self-reliance, is hunting. A tradition passed down through families for centuries, hunting has been a means of survival and, by extension, a sacred sport. For some, learning to hunt is a rite of passage. Erika Larsen has spent numerous years photographing hunting in the U.S. Her thoughtful portraits and landscapes occupy an unusual place in the world of photography: she has been a contributing photographer to the sportsman’s mainstay, Field and Stream magazine, and as such, her work celebrates and is celebrated by hunters. In her series Young Blood (2006-2007), Larsen has focused on children as they learn to hunt. Her subjects seem somber, mature, and comfortable within their environment. For them, the thrill is in learning to follow their instincts and being immersed in nature. They not only carry on a sacred tradition, but also learn to embrace the environment. They have direct contact with life and death and become part of that cycle. No longer just observers, these children are working parts of nature.

Erika Larsen’s (American, born 1976) most notable bodies of work, Young Blood and The Hunt look intimately at hunting culture in North America, its connection with nature and its role in the cycle of life and death. These solo shows have been exhibited internationally. She has been recognized by World Press Photo, American Society of Magazine Editors, American Photography, Society of Photographers, and New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Her work is included in the 2009-2010 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Larsen is currently on a Fulbright Fellowship in the Scandinavian Arctic working on her latest project Sami, The People.