Wildlife photographer Vincent Munier (1976, Vosges, France) has always been surrounded by and part of nature. Ever since his early childhood when he bivouacked in the forests on the lookout for the tiniest creatures and his first magic moments to his later adventures experiencing thrilling encounters with larger hunting animals such as lynxes, brown and polar bears and wolves.
As a winner of many international photography awards and nominees, – Munier won multiple times the acclaimed BBC Wildlife photographer of the year award – something particular is setting the works of Munier apart from other wildlife photography.
In order to be forgotten by the animals or not to be perceived at all, increasingly distant quests and long periods of patience are needed. In resonance with his modest personal character, his works are examples of silence and decidedly rustic. They are testimonies of making himself completely invisible and non-existent. As if there was no human present.
To be able to approach physically as well as mentally the animals in their own habitat, one needs to know a myriad of behavioural, physiological and psychological traits and how the species adapts to seasonal changes and lights. Munier’s images are also proof of this phenomenon.
Since these creatures are the true legitimate inhabitants of nature, it is adamant we as humans have to pay them more respect. By using not only his own instinct but also inspiration from minimalism and Japanese ink op paper works from the 14th – 16h century of enthralling landscapes, Munier has found a unique perspective of the rich and complex reality of the natural world. Munier is not so much recording nature but finding constructed compositions that include the atmosphere of the environment that these animals live in. These compositions consist of the tranquillity of their surroundings as well as the linear construction and sensibility of the force of nature.
Munier took six expeditions to capture the wolves in the Arctic and on Ellesmere Island. Since 2011 he looked for highly cryptic and elusive ‘ghost’ cat, the snow leopard, for which he traveled many years to the rugged terrain of mountainous regions of Tibet to encounter it for the first time in 2016. In 2021 Vincent Munier co-directed the film ‘The Velvet Queen’ with Marie Amiguet, about his search with writer Sylvian Tesson for the snow leopard (Panthera uncia). The documentary received the César Award for Best Documentary Film in 2021.
Munier published many books, amongst them two photo-books about Tibet and the snow leopard: Tibet : promesse de l’invisible andTibet : Minéral animal, both published in 2018. In 2015 his book Arctique (2015) was published on Arctic wolves and other species.
In 2023 his new monograph VINCENT MUNIER was released at Paris Photo with FLAT // LAND who showed his work at the main section of the Paris Photo as part of its new ethological direction of the gallery. Munier’s work is being exhibited extensively since 2023 including exhibitions at New York Public Library, New York, 2024; Musée des Confluences, Lyon, 2024; Cité Musical Metz, galerie d’expositions, Metz, 2024; le Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre, 2023; Jardin des Plantes, Paris, 2017 and National Museum of Natural History, Paris, 2011.