Art&Culture, Photography


In a world where architecture has gone to the dogs, photographer Mark Ruwedel explores beautifully decaying doghouses in the wild West.



A half-century later, photographer Mark Ruwedel stumbled upon another marooned doghouse in the Mojave Desert. “I was photographing abandoned homes for my series Dusk, and in doing so one day, saw a doghouse out back,” he recalls. “It was kind of funny because it looked like a miniature version of the house. But it was also somewhat disturbing. I’m not big on the idea of keeping a dog in a doghouse, but in this 90-degree arch around Los Angeles, I was finding one, two, three… It’s almost as though there are doghouse zones. I can’t draw any conclusions but it’s curious.”

Where the Dusk houses are shot in stark black and white, the Dog Houses are suffused with subtle colour that fans out to the surrounding dust bowl. An affecting, if aesthetic, difference. “There is a forensic quality to the [human] houses that I softened in the doghouses,” says Ruwedel. Weather-beaten by the elements, the ramshackle shelters are of myriad shapes and sizes, and in various states of decay. But there is beauty and meaning in these houses of disorder. “There’s an improvisational quality to some of the structures. They remind me of Three Little Pigs. You imagine the one made of bricks being there forever, while the one made from the plastic liner for a pickup truck, with a hole cut out and some rocks on top, is going to blow away eventually.”

You can enjoy the complete feature in Four&Sons, Issue One.
To buy a copy, click here

Photography by Mark Ruwedel.
Images Courtesy of Yossi Milo Gallery  and Gallery Luisotti.




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