This photo series is Kenji Toma's homage to the botanical illustrations in Choix Des Plus Belles Fleurs by Pierre-Joseph Redouté, one of the most well regarded flower encyclopedias of the 19th century. Back when colour photography did not exist, these images were illustrated with the purpose of replicating the botanic subject as close to reality as possible. Kenji Toma is more interested in doing the exact opposite with the photographic medium which, realistic by nature, can also be used to make a subject look unreal, artificial. The result is a highly contemporary and fascinating revival of the concept of the botanical encyclopedia.
Kenji Toma (born in Niigata, Japan) is an award-winning photographer living in New York. After establishing his photography career in Tokyo, Toma arrived in New York in 1990. Since then, he has been recognized as one of the leading commercial still-life photographers with his unique mysterious style and detail-oriented vision. Concurrently, he is working on personal projects and The Most Beautiful Flowers is his most representative work.