A few years ago I completed a four-city tour documenting dogs and graffiti. This project started out harmless enough but then snowballed into a full on project. Featured here is an image from the New York portion of the project. All four of these books are available online, however, I’m actually in the process of editing all four books into ONE magazine piece which I will release in the coming weeks. This entire project was made with the Leica and Tmax 3200. Since the four city project I’ve also added pieces from Panama and Peru, which I will probably feature at a later date. Enjoy.
As many of you know, I’m a book guy. I love books. I dream about them. I’ve made several. Well, add two more to the list. And folks, I made these books rather quickly. These small publications were not labored over, toiled over. I did not pull my hair out. I did not consult higher powers. I just did them. Bingo. Bango. You book designers are probably saying, “No joke.” I made the images over a year ago, but I just got around to making the books, and BOOK is a stretch in both cases. I consider these “books” simply sketches of an idea that I’ve been carrying around and acting out on for at least five years. The beauty of this book process, the print on demand process, is simply that you can make a single book. I LOVE to play with books. I’ve made an assortment of hideous creations not fit for public consumption, and I’ve made others that I’m proud of that continue to sell. My advice…just play.
A few years ago I started a project about dogs and graffiti in different cities/countries around the world. Palermo, Paris, New York, Tijuana and now Panama and Peru have entered in the mix. Is this story a world beater? No, not really. Have I sold a fair amount of these books? Yes. Dogs are a safe bet, but oddly enough the range of response to THIS particular project has been as varied as anything I’ve ever done. I’ve had people look at these images and claim to see great religious or political slant. No joke. I just nod and say, “You got me.” But back to the books. I love making these books for several reasons. First, it allows me to revisit the work. Second, it forces me to edit the work, and three, it allows me to create a physical artifact from the project. I don’t sweat these books. I enjoy the process and I toss the final product in a pile and revisit them from time to time. That’s all. I think sometimes we make too much of all this stuff. Photography, books, BEING photographers or book people. Just enjoy the process. You wanna be a world-beater? Good, go for it. Wanna just play, then play.
And for all you tech crazies out there. I know you want it. Wait for it…wait….wait for it……all Leica, all TRI-X. As the gear wars rage on I always find myself keeping an ear to the ground, thinking, “Well, I should go and look at these new cameras.” And then I do and I end up driving home empty handed. My old fallback of Leica, TRI-X is hard to beat. And now that my darkroom is nearing completion I really don’t see a need to change anything now. Of course tomorrow I’ll be saying something new, but I reserve the right to do so.
I’m a total sucker for dogs and making pictures of dogs.
As many of you know, I’ve done four books on dogs, in a series titled “Dogs Can’t Read,” which I traveled to four cities around the world to photograph the juxtaposition of dogs and graffiti.
Yes, I wandered the streets of Tijuana, New York, Paris and Palermo, on my own, and compiled these babies.
Face it, the only thing easier to photography than a dog is a smiling baby. But I still can’t stop myself. Embrace the cliche Danny. And I do.
This little jobbie is from San Diego, a moment right before sunset. Wandering alone, waiting, watching. And then I see the damn dogs, at the beach, without leash, and I can’t imagine finding a happier creature.
I think the dog thinks that each day is his or her last on Earth, so they live with an excitement we can only dream of. A lesson to be learned there I believe.
My dog books are here: DOGS CAN’T READ
Just wanted to alert the masses to a recent article regarding my “Dogs Can’t Read” project. Paris-based Lens Culture was nice enough to write me up and describe this ongoing series.
So far, I’ve completed four cities, Paris, New York, Tijuana and Palermo, but there are others on my horizon.
This project, for one reason or another, has been a pleasant surprise in terms of the reception. People see different things in these images, and in many cases, things I did not see. Each book seems to have a life of its own.
Anyway, hope you enjoy.