TALLINN - Indrek Galentin has found the perfect theme for his latest charity drive 's tasteful photos of nude celebrities cuddling up with strange and exotic animals, reptiles and spiders.
Galentin, an official European Broadcasting Union photographer, recently held the opening night of "Amour Lemmikloomade Eri" (Special Love to Animals), a high profile photo exhibition featuring some of the most prominent Estonian celebrities.
The exhibition was launched at the Rotermann Center 's which belongs to Urmas Soorumaa, himself a famous businessman and philanthropist 's on May 22.
The event is set to continue on June 20 in Dominic, a popular local restaurant.
Galentin told The Baltic Times the exhibition is a charity drive to support animal shelters in Estonia. According to the photographer, the photos will be sold in an online auction. Those who want to make a bid for one of the photos can do so at the official Web site, osta.ee.
The results of the auction will be presented on June 20, where all the collected money will officially be sent to the animal shelters, Galentin said.
"The idea occurred to me in 2007, in December, when I started to make my first photo session called 'Amour,' where I showed different couples half nakedâ€¦ One of the aims was to show that love really exists even though my beloved left me and I was down at that period of time, but after all I wanted to show that I still believe in love. However, the other idea was to show that love can be different no matter what kind of love it is. By organizing this exhibition, I wanted to show love and relationship between people no matter if they are gays or lesbians," Galentin explained.
According to Galentin, at that first photo shoot they collected 123,000 kroons (7,861 euros) through the auction and presented the money to the movement fighting against AIDS.
"I can say that the first exhibition was quite successful and that's why I decided to make the second part of it 's this time I devoted it to animals. I took photos of famous public faces with their favorite pets. This time I wanted to show that true love can be not only toward human beings, but animals as well."
"The most important thing about the exhibition is that it is a charity. Actually, I wanted to do something useful, nice but something that won't be vulgar," Galentin said.
The 15 participants who took part in this year's charity photo shoot are Angela Aak, Artur Rassmann, Mari-Leen Kaselan, Anna-Maria Galojan, Anna and Natalja Ulanova, Max Kaur, Fred Born, Mikk Nurga, Kerttu Rakke, Lauri Pedaja, Liss Lass, Rolf Roosalu, Leemet Prits and Vaido Neigaus.
Galentin said last year it was more difficult to organize the exhibition in comparison with this year.
"I think the problem was that people didn't imagine what I was going to do and what it would look like 's I think it was a matter of trust in some way. However, this time it was easier for me to invite people to take part as they knew what it was going to be like."
"I got positive answers from 45 people whom I invited to take part in the charity but unfortunately I couldn't manage to involve all these 45 people and only 15 could take part," he said.
"Next time I am going to make the next part of the exhibition devoted to some other topic and I hope that it will be as interesting as this one and draw people's attention."