adoptable pit bulls show a softer side for sophie gamand's flower power series
adoptable pit bulls show a softer side for sophie gamand's flower power series
sep 23, 2015

adoptable pit bulls show a softer side for sophie gamand's flower power series

adoptable pit bulls show a softer side for sophie gamand’s flower power series
(above) ‘lux’
all images courtesy of sophie gamand




america euthanizes upwards of 1,000,000 pit bulls every year – a startling statistic. the breed falls victim to generalization and prejudice that associates them with violence, making them ‘disposable’ dogs to many unfit owners. for the series ‘flower power’, french photographer sophie gamand aims to soften the impression of pits, and challenge the way people look at and treat them by donning them in colorful crowns of greenery and blooms.


all of the models from the series are shelter pit bulls who were waiting for adoption at the time of the photograph (many of them still are). ‘I realized pit bulls were always portrayed in very urban, gritty photographs,’ gamand says. ‘the imagery associated with these dogs is often harsh, very contrasted, conveying the idea of them being tough. in my opinion, this feeds the myth that these dogs are dormant psychopaths. so I decided to take the other route and portray them like hippies, soft fairy-tale-inspired characters, feminine and dreamy. the idea of flower power blossomed.’





‘this project started as an excuse for me to discover more about pit bulls, and to see for myself what the debate was about,’ gamand says. ‘were they really all crazy and dangerous? or were most of them simply the victims of a generalization? like many people, I admittedly had prejudices against them. I was savagely attacked as a child by a large dog (a briard) who left me scarred. I had a tendency to tense up around large energetic dogs, and the stories media filled my head with were not helping. but as an active volunteer with many rescue groups, I often came in contact with pit bulls and was slowly warming up to their sweet nature. I decided to confront my apprehensions and explore their soft side in a visual way.’





gamand made flower headpieces and approached three rescue groups in new york city with the idea: sean casey animal rescue, second chance rescue and animal haven all welcomed the project with enthusiasm. she set up a studio and photographed some of the pit bulls who were up for adoption. eventually, word spread of gamand’s initiative and she was approached by hempstead town animal shelter to organize a ‘flower power ‘shoot for their most urgent dogs. since then, gamand has continued to photograph the breed in these shelters and for other rescues, and hopes to take the project to other cities across the world.





‘flower power’ is on view at adrien / kavachnina gallery in paris from now until october 12, 2015. 






‘adrienne, currently for adoption at hempstead town animal shelter




    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    503,278 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    designboom magazine