Fido Photos | Art Reviews

Grant, Andrew. Rover. Firefly. Aug. 2017. 368p. photos. ISBN 9781770859890. $40. PHOTOG

Grant first thought of doing a book of dog portraits when he photographed a pair of French bulldogs for an ad campaign. The hundreds of dog photos that followed may not have gone as planned, but the premise of this book is quite admirable. Nearly all the dogs portrayed here are rescues whose owners have made substantial donations to dog shelters around the nation. Thus far, donors have contributed nearly $2 million. For every copy sold, the publisher makes an additional contribution to an organization for neglected and abused dogs. The portraits themselves are quite impressive—sharply detailed color images photographed against a white background in a professional studio. They are best described as revealing character studies of the dogs, each of which is looking expressively into the camera. With a brief introduction by the author and helpful suggestions for how to take part in rescue efforts at the end, this is primarily a portfolio of a variety of purebreds and mixed-breeds dogs who all have one thing in common: they were all saved by good-hearted people. VERDICT Anyone who loves dogs and/or photography will appreciate this book. Highly recommended.—­Raymond Bial, First Light ­Photography, Urbana, IL

Wegman, William. William Wegman: Being Human. Chronicle. Oct. 2017. 352p. ed. by William A. Ewing. photos. index. ISBN 9781452164991. pap. $24.95. PHOTOG

Since the 1970s, ­Wegman has been making photographic collaborations with generations of his beloved Weimaraners. His dog photos have been published in many forms—more than 60 published books, calendars, notecards, etc.—but this newest publication serves as a retrospective, and features rare, previously unpublished images, along with more than 300 iconic photographs of the artist’s famous dogs. Loosely organized by theme (“Nudes,” “Tales,” “Disguise,” etc.), rather than by chronology, the book’s title alludes to Wegman’s tendency to humanize his dogs by using clothing and props, as he captures their light eyes staring into the camera lens. His images—part performance, part photography—were shot with a large-scale Polaroid, a rare approach indeed in the digital age. Editor Ewing contributes a playful introduction that sets the overall tone. The small format suggests a handheld, intimate feel; a thoughtful conversation with Wegman himself features behind-the-scene stories about several of his now-famous images. ­VERDICT Recommended for both dog and photography enthusiasts.—Shauna ­Frischkorn, Millersville Univ., PA

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