Floral crowns, pit bulls, and a photographer’s quest to change negative perceptions.
By Penny Eims
When some, make that many, people are asked to visualize a pit bull, they may conjure up images of vicious, unstable dogs with blocky heads and viselike jaws. One French photographer has decided to use her exceptional talent to create the Flower Power: Pit bulls of the Revolution photography art series to help change the negative perception of these often maligned dogs.
The woman behind this noble quest is Sophie Gamand, who has described the goal of her project, “I created Flower Power to challenge the way we look at pit bull-type dogs. Everywhere around the world, these dogs are the victims of terrible prejudice and abuse, sometimes leading to terrible con- sequences such as the eviction of their owners, or the euthanasia of the dogs.”
Gamand, who currently lives in New York, photographs homeless shelter dogs of the pit bull variety...before the photographs are taken, the dogs are adorned in exquisite handmade flower crowns. The delicate props offer a lovely softness to the misunderstood dogs who are frequently associated with violence, rather than beauty and gentleness. Gamand described why she chose flowers for this project, “The flowers symbolize the ephemeral quality of life, reminding us that these creatures are fragile and precious. By shortening the distance with the subject, my images question our own humanity. Whether or not we like pit bulls, is it acceptable to produce and discard them in such high numbers, for no other reason than our own fears and shortcomings?”