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Mi Perro proposes an inverted reality: dogs transform their companions into human beings. Ronald Pizzoferrato’s photographs move, soften, until suddenly something begins to bother: architecture too severe, a harsh atmosphere that speaks of a violent past. These peaceful, happy, almost childlike images come from the rough world of prison, populated by tough and fearsome men.

Far from attempting to mitigate, mask, or justify, the author introduces an incongruity and raises a provocation. He deceives us, makes us uncomfortable. He humanizes those who are normally dehumanized, restores order and familiarity to what has been rejected as alien and monstrous. He elicits affection in what usually generates hatred and fear.

The vision of the prison is governed by stigma and sensationalism: a place of violence and cruelty. In these photographs, the inmates show their pets to show themselves as human, to undermine the barrier of prejudice. It is the dogs that humanize men, that remind us that those who live behind prison bars are, despite our gaze that excludes them and the oblivion in which they are buried, similar to ourselves. In a world where we save the animal to condemn the man.”

  • Andreas Antillano