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Marc Joseph: American Pitbull

by James Frey

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Far from a conventional "dog book," American Pitbull is a nonfiction pictorial narrative of a deep culture: American pitbull dogs and the human beings that live for them. Over a three-year period Marc Joseph traveled the United States photographing pitbull dogs, their owners, breeders and "old time dog men," at their homes and yards, and during events related to the breed. Joseph gained full access to this culture via the bonds formed with his subjects, and the fanatical, almost-religious devotion that pitbull fans attribute to the breed is clearly portrayed in his pictures. Issues of identity are addressed through elements of image, race, pride and background, while the photographs simultaneously serve to further an understanding of our perceptions of beauty, unconditional love, danger and strength. Rich with metaphor, themes of family and shelter are prominent; throughout the series a cast of characters emerges, defining the context of the work. Writer James Frey, (A Million Little Pieces) contributes the highly informative and very personal essay to American Pitbull. Exhibitions of the works shown here will be mounted throughout the United States and Europe in 2005 and 2006. The documentary film, American Pitbull, based on this book, is currently in production.… (more)
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Far from a conventional "dog book," American Pitbull is a nonfiction pictorial narrative of a deep culture: American pitbull dogs and the human beings that live for them. Over a three-year period Marc Joseph traveled the United States photographing pitbull dogs, their owners, breeders and "old time dog men," at their homes and yards, and during events related to the breed. Joseph gained full access to this culture via the bonds formed with his subjects, and the fanatical, almost-religious devotion that pitbull fans attribute to the breed is clearly portrayed in his pictures. Issues of identity are addressed through elements of image, race, pride and background, while the photographs simultaneously serve to further an understanding of our perceptions of beauty, unconditional love, danger and strength. Rich with metaphor, themes of family and shelter are prominent; throughout the series a cast of characters emerges, defining the context of the work. Writer James Frey, (A Million Little Pieces) contributes the highly informative and very personal essay to American Pitbull. Exhibitions of the works shown here will be mounted throughout the United States and Europe in 2005 and 2006. The documentary film, American Pitbull, based on this book, is currently in production.

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