Tema Stauffer Dog Show


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


Breeder, Ramada Inn, Anderson, IN, 1998


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


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


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


Couple with Weimaraner, Porter County Fairgrounds, Valparaiso, 1998


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


Officials, Knights of Columbus, Joliet, IL, 2000


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