The PhotoBook

July 20, 2010

Catherine Ledner – Glamour Dogs

Catherine Ledner – Glamour Dogs 2009 courtesy Chronicle Books

I had been anticipating Catherine Ledner’s latest photobook Glamour Dogs after having a glimpse of her earlier exhibition photographs of wild animals. For this photobook, Glamour Dogs, her subject is a large group of dog breeds using a similar stylistic portrait formula as her earlier wild animal photographs.

Ledner’s canine subjects are being provided with either a unique posing device or they occupy a central place on the floor. Each dog is framed by a unique wall paper that has been paired with the animal to complement some aspect of her subject. The lighting, focus and use of color are all provide with a similar treatment for each photograph. Her subjects are usually centered in the frame, with some of the dogs providing direct eye contact with the lens, others focused just off-center or preoccupied with something else, perhaps the animal’s trainer or owner.

What I found interesting in Ledner’s earlier photographs was the odd mix of a wild animal in a very domestic appearing context, appearing to pose inside of a home, as symbolized by an interesting background wall paper motif. The feeling of strangeness is very much missing in these photographs, as these beautifully manicured dogs look everything like a pet that would be pampered in these domesticated settings.

Ledner does have a sly sense of humor in some of her selections of props and posing of the dogs, just enough to be a wink and a node, without an over the top and in your face slapstick visual pun. Although there are no puppies hanging by their paws on a clothes line, she does come close.

It appears to me that Ledner has found a formula that is developing into a nice commercial niche and a trademark style but regretfully at the expense of becoming slick and repetitious boring. In an attempt to be open-minded and provide a contrarian viewpoint; the art world has been replete with artists who once found something of a narrow interest, (e.g. repetitively painting the same tea-pot) that they continued to work it almost seemly to death. I just do not sense that type of creative investigation in this body of work

This photobook will appeal to the canine aficionados who will take delight in the varied character studies.

By Douglas Stockdale

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4 Comments »

  1. OH THAT ADORABLE LITTLE ENGLISH WIRE-HAIRED FOX TERRIER NAMED ESTA*SPRING! ON TWO PAGE’S AND HER SISTERS BACK ON THE THIRD PAGE. WOULD OF LOVED TO SEE SISTERS FACE. PRAY TELL I HAVE CANCER FOR THREE YEAR’S THAT ADORABLE TERRIER IS SITTING RIGHT HERE WITH ME. SHE IS MINE AND MY FRIEND PUT HER IN THE CONTEST.I EAT HER UP ALL DAY AND TUCK HER IN HER PILLOW RIGHT NEXT TO ME WHILE SHE SLEEPS. WHEN SHE WANTS A DRINK IT IS SERVED TO HER. SHE HAS BEEN EATING CHICKEN, HOT DOGGIE’S, STEAKY, PEA’S, RICE. CARROTIE’S, AND CORNY IN CHICKEN OR BEEF BROTH FROM DAY 1. SO DID HER GRANDMOM, ESTA WHO BROUGHT JOY FOR 18 YEARS TO ME. SPRINGER’S IS SPRINGY’S GRANDMOM WHO LIVED 18 YEAR’S ALSO. SUCH HAPPINESS ONLY A DOG LOVER LIKE CATHERINE LEDNER AND THE DOG’S OWNER WOULD KNOE.

    Comment by FRANK COLLETTE — March 27, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

  2. [...] via Catherine Ledner – Glamour Dogs « The PhotoBook. [...]

    Pingback by Review of Catherine Ledner’s Glamour Dogs | Batpig & Me — December 20, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  3. Catherine great pictures but you recently took a picture for NY magazine that had a man kicking an abused dog intitled “Does Money make you Mad”, this disgusts me that you take such great pictures like these ones above. but you came up with or agreed to an idea that depicts Animal Cruelty which is a felony in the United States.

    Comment by A concerned Animal Rights Warrior — July 4, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  4. [...] nor elegantly posed as found in the stylistic posing of Catherine Ledner’s canine portraits “Glamour Dogs”. The subjects of Dumas investigation are the common dogs in their ordinary working environment, [...]

    Pingback by Charlotte Dumas – Al Lavoro! « The PhotoBook — September 17, 2012 @ 12:27 am


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