Keith Arnatt: The Walking Dog

Walking the Dog is a series of forty black and white photographs of individuals standing outside with their dogs. The photographs were taken by the British conceptual artist Keith Arnatt around his home in Tintern, Monmouthshire, between 1976 and 1979. As Arnatt explained in a discussion of this body of work: ‘what interested me about photographs was the oddity of photographs that caught expression – things that people were doing while they were being photographed.’

Walking the Dog 1976-9 by Keith Arnatt 1930-2008

Arnatt’s series, Walking the Dog, is quite funny to me as both dog and owner have their eyes to the camera, which shows a lot of skill on Arnatt’s part, but also brings a comedic element into the work. Our mind starts to try and see similarities between the dog and their owner, going with the idea that dogs look like their owners. Arnatt was a conceptual artist, using photography. I find Arnatt’s work humourous, especially when it becomes inevitable that you begin comparing the owner with their dog, seeing that they have a similar ‘hairstyle’ or their body shapes look strangely similar.

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