This is a selection of birds from my series, Memento Mori.

These photographs are a contemporary take on the sixteenth-century Flemish painting movement Vanitas. The decaying subject matter symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life and the certainty of death. The photographs pay homage to the many species that have been pushed to the margins by the human population’s expansion and exploitation of the planet.

To make these images, I find road kill and other dead mammals, insects, and birds to use as the subject matter for my still-life photographs. I arrange these specimens with the local vegetation of the region. These images attempt to memorialize the life of these animals, similar to nineteenth-century American “mourning portraiture.”

    — Bobby Neel Adams