Study of a Hound
These are photos of a hound. Not various hounds or even several hounds, just one singular, individual hound. His name is Felix and he came to us on a plane from Madrid.
Felix is one of tens of thousands of hounds in southern Spain who are specifically bred and used for sport hunting and then discarded when the season is finished. These pure bred dogs, mostly Ibezan Hounds and Spanish Greyhounds (called Podencos and Galgos by Spaniards) are typically hung, tortured or left to starve when they are no longer needed for hunting.
Felix is one of a small handful of dogs that are rescued annually by grassroots animal welfare groups and shipped to eager families in America. In his case, he was found with several dozen other dogs that had been left to starve in an enclosed property that they could not escape from. Unable to walk, belly severely distended from starvation, covered in ticks and inches from death despite being only 7 months old, he was taken in and nurtured in foster care for months before being put on a plane bound for Boston.
The artfulness of this one beautiful, individual dog and all of his parts struck me deeply. His face, legs, snout, ribs and paws all seemed a piece of art in their own right. But all of those artful parts which come together so seamlessly to make a graceful, lithe, intelligent animal are simply viewed as cogs in a disposable machine by the culture of men who abuse these dogs. Perhaps for this reason, I tried to represent he and all of his parts without sentimentality, each as a study of anatomy.
Although singular to me, the reality is that Felix is just a number. In dissecting him visually, I aim to make him whole to the viewer, because the beauty, fragility, poise, intelligence and character found in this one dog, lives in all of them.