Art&Culture
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A FAMILIAR FACE

Find yourself in Leo, the series by renowned Norwegian photographer Per Maning, taken during the last three years of his dog’s life.

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A FAMILIAR FACE

Looking at the images in Per Maning’s Leo photo-essay, you can’t tell that Maning’s labrador retriever is ill. The Norwegian artist photographed Leo every day for the last three years of the dog’s life (from 1983-87), however instead of focusing on his old friend’s declining health, Maning manages to capture his spirit and unique identity. Leo’s jet-black fur glistens. He looks majestic and strong in a low angle shot; watchful and tentative laying on floorboards, half cloaked in shadow. Leo wades in silky water, nuzzles fresh snow, curls up in his bed. Each snapshot captures those small moments—funny, silly, mundane, peaceful—in a dog’s day-to-day existence.

We see our own pet in these photos. We see ourselves in them too. Maning has a knack for depicting the ‘human’ qualities that we recognise in animals, steering us to the realisation that we only label these qualities as ‘human’ because of their familiarity. In fact, we are simply a species amongst other species, and perhaps our feelings, behaviours and essences are more universal than we give them credit for.


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You can see the complete Leo series here.

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ISSUE EIGHT — PRE-ORDER NOW

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