Tema Stauffer Dog Show

1_Stauffer_MexicanHairless

Mexican Hairless, Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds, Kalamazoo, MI, 1998

2_Stauffer_Breeder

Breeder, Ramada Inn, Anderson, IN, 1998

3_Stauffer_BlackPoodle

Black Poodle, Waukesha County Expo Center, Waukesha, WI, 1998

4_Stauffer_ManwithPug

Man with Pug, Ramada Inn, Anderson, IN, 1998

5_Stauffer_Pomeranian

Pomeranian, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, IA, 1998

6_Stauffer_CouplewithWeimaraner

Couple with Weimaraner, Porter County Fairgrounds, Valparaiso, 1998

7_Stauffer_DogArt

Dog Art, Lake Lawn Lodge, Delavin, WI, 1999

8_Stauffer_Officials

Officials, Knights of Columbus, Joliet, IL, 2000

9_Stauffer_WhitePoodle

White Poodle, Lee County 4-H Center and Grounds, Amboy, IL, 1998

Dog Show is a series of photographs that I started during the summer after I finished graduate school in Chicago.  From 1998 – 2000, I subscribed to Dog World Magazine whose back pages provided a guide to locate dog shows at hotel banquet halls, Elk’s Club Lodges, and fairgrounds throughout the Midwest.  Fascinated by the fastidiously contrived appearances of the dogs as reflections of their owners’ obsessions, projections, and longings, I searched for the most vivid characters to portray this cultural phenomenon and photographed both the participants and their pets with a stark flash and a direct gaze..With some humor and absurdity, the resulting portraits suggest the fantasy, idealization, and quest for perfection implicit within this relationship between humans and animals.

All images © courtesy of Tema Stauffer

www.temastauffer.com