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Exhibition of photos taken in the Galapagos and Antarctica by former fashion photographer on display in New York

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The worlds of high fashion and conservationism collide in a new exhibit being displayed in New York.

For years, climate artist Enzo Barracco was a renowned name in the world of fashion and portrait photography. But he made the switch to environmental work after feeling called to use his skills to do some good on the planet.

“At some point, I was missing something,” Barracco told ABC News.

Barracco was browsing a London bookstore more than a decade ago when he came across a biography of Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton, who led expeditions to Antarctica in the early 20th century.

Shackleton’s story inspired Enzo to lead his own expedition to Antarctica in 2016, followed by another in the Galapagos Islands in 2019.

There, he witnessed the “power and fragility” of nature that changed his life and career, he told ABC News.

Antarctica felt like “another planet” when photographer Enzo Barracco arrived there in 2016.

Enzo Barrracco

Images taken by Barracco in Antarctica and the Galapagos islands — two of the world’s most threatened regions — are currently weaved throughout the meticulous merchandise displays at Prada’s “epicenter,” a 26,000 square-foot store located in Manhattan’s Soho district that previously housed the Guggenheim museum’s Soho branch.

Immediately upon walking into the two-story superstore, visitors are met with an image Barracco took of an Antarctica iceberg plastered onto the store’s circular elevator. A 10-foot sign describing Barracco’s expeditions stands next to the gigantic elevator, outfitted with seats and the ability to hold upwards of a dozen people.

Antarctica has been experiencing decreasing sea ice extent over the last several years. The continent is also home to the Thwaites glacier, also known as the “Doomsday Glacier,” which has the potential to cause global sea levels to rise by about 10 feet if melted completely. A study published in Nature Climate Change last year found that it may be too late to stop the onset of melting in West Antarctica.

The Galapagos Islands, like many island nations, are not only being threatened by sea level rise. Rising temperatures have the potential to endanger the balance of the islands’ ecosystems, one of the most diverse in the world.

Upon his arrival to Antarctica, Barracco was immediately struck by the vast remoteness and ice as far as the eye could see. It felt like another planet, he said.

He was surprised to find an owl in the Galapagos, which made him marvel at the species’ “capacity to survive” and adapt to a different environment.

PHOTO: A crab on the Galapagos Islands is photographed by Enzo Barrracco during his 2019 exhibition to the imperiled archipelago.

A crab on the Galapagos Islands is photographed by Enzo Barrracco during his 2019 exhibition to the imperiled archipelago.

Enzo Barrracco

Barracco’s expeditions changed his outlook on the importance of environmental conservation work.

“When you witness a place like Antarctica or Galapagos, it’s very easy to think differently,” he said.

Barracco has since been nominated for an Emmy in his new role as a climate artist, has written a book called “The Noise of Ice: Antarctica,” and is now working on a book about the Galapagos Islands.

Intertwined in the immaculate presentation of shoes, bags and clothing are images Barracco photographed in these imperiled environments. His work showcases landscapes and regional species amid their strife to survive.

PHOTO: Images that former fashion photographer Enzo Barracco took in Antarctica and the Galapagos Island are displayed among the merchandise at Prada's New York flagship in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood.

Images that former fashion photographer Enzo Barracco took in Antarctica and the Galapagos Island are displayed among the merchandise at Prada’s New York flagship in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood.

ABC News

Barracco’s favorite photo is a glacier he shot that had an “unusual” shape. When he showed to photo to researchers at Cambridge University, they noted that the glacier was “fighting to survive.” As the iceberg melts, it’s losing its balance and is rotating into the water, Barracco said.

The exhibition of Barracco’s work is part of Prada’s Sea Beyond ocean conservation campaign, a partnership with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission for continued recognition from the Prada Group that contributing to a healthy planet requires a deep responsibility to taking bold action to protect nature, especially since the fashion industry can be a significant contributor to biodiversity loss, predominantly through the production, processing and sourcing of different raw materials.

Barracco firmly believes it is the responsibility of every human to “do something” to conserve the natural world.

PHOTO:  Enzo Barracco stands next to a screen projecting an image he took in Antarctica at Prada's New York flagship store, the Soho space that previously the Guggenheim's Soho branch.

Enzo Barracco stands next to a screen projecting an image he took in Antarctica at Prada’s New York flagship store, the Soho space that previously the Guggenheim’s Soho branch.

ABC News

Photography is an especially powerful outlet, because the visual media needs no translation, he told ABC News.

“I think it’s a perfect tool to communicate to what nature is experiencing in the moment.”

Barracco’s work will be on display at the Prada store at 575 Broadway until May 27.

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