Every dog owner knows too well the fun and misery of bath time: the wriggles, the poignant looks, the playful splashes. With over 120 portraits, most of which have never been seen before, WET DOG is a stunning and touching collection of these intimate moments. Elevating dog photography to the status of art, these expressive portraits of our canine friends mirror our very own human emotions.
The author, Sophie Gamand, is a French award-winning photographer and animal advocate living and working in New York City. Since 2010, she has been focusing on dogs and our relationship with them. She initiated a campaign in Pit Bull advocacy with a line of gentle canine portraits: Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution. This series allowed the world to witness the impact and obligation humans have toward the animal community; as Sophie spotlighted the beauty in these feared and impounded creatures, her images softened hearts and claimed homes for these condemned Pit Bulls.
Sophie describes her experience becoming the "Wet Dog" photographer.
In reference to the purpose of her work, Sophie speculated, "Dogs are the first - and most striking - example of artificial selection. Acting like gods, Men created dogs, manipulated their genetics to fulfill their own needs and desires. We subdued an entire species. I believe this should give us tremendous responsibility towards dogs, and the way we treat dogs speaks volume about our own human society.
The word ‘pet’ has been referred to as ‘the indulged child,’ as early as the 15th Century. A big city like New York, a place not primarily designed for animals, seems to emphasize the idea that the nature of our favorite companions has been engineered to fit the human lifestyle. Are dogs still animals? Or are they the new children of a human community that grows increasingly disconnected?
In 2014, American animal lovers spent $58 billion on food, veterinary care, kennels and other pet services. Each year, 2.7 million animals are adopted from animal shelters. The boom of the Pet industry raises questions about us humans and our social interactions. In big cities, dogs are social anchors and sometimes replace spouses, children, friends. They have become the center of the home, around which everything – and sometimes everyone – revolves. Has this special treatment influenced the way dogs behave and interact with humans? In other parts of the world, dogs are still considered wild animals. But can they still survive on their own? Has our codependent relationship to dogs changed their true nature? Moreover, what does this bond reveal about our own social challenges and solitude?"
Sophie has won several prestigious photo awards and has been consulted as a dog photography expert for eminent publications and institutions such as Christie's or Vogue. Her work has been published in the press worldwide, online and in print (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Oprah Magazine, ....). Her first book, Wet Dog, is scheduled for October 2015.