“It’s about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.”
“My attraction to dogs is stirred purely by emotion… For me, the dogs are both an excuse and a reason for taking these pictures. They give me an excuse because they make good subjects. I like them, people want to see them, I can’t resist!”
This exhibition of approximately 50 photographs leaves little question about Erwitt’s love of man’s best friend. For the photographer, it is the photograph that counts, above and beyond its subject. But Erwitt is bound to be called a sentimentalist because he photographs dogs, whom we, in our species-centric way, tend to think of as, well, animals.
If Erwitt proves anything, however, it is that our close relationship with these furry fellow travelers is due to mutual resemblance and emotion. Erwitt sees the dignity of the ankle-high Chihuahua; the anxiety of the homeless hound; the smugness of the adored dachshund, sitting on its chaise longue in the noonday sun; the patience of the pom-pommed poodle; and the oafish joy of a homely but well-loved pug.
In his vast range of sentiment, and in his easygoing but precise mastery of the abstract elements of composition, Elliott Erwitt is an acute observer of the canine world.