About the series
This series of photographs depicts a man engaged in pup play. Pet play is a fetish subculture within the wide world of BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sad-Masochism) that exists in both the hetero and homsexual spheres of sexual expression via animal roleplay. Pup play began as a themed style of slave play where an individual would be ‘degraded’ for sexual satisfaction (of either or both parties). This would be achieved through a handler/pet relationship where a handler would treat their submissive just like a dog: forcing them to remain on all fours, eating via a dog bowl, and even stripping them of their human name. Pup play exists alongside pony play, kitty play and pig play among others.
As the 80s punk culture took the world by storm, street fashion introduced leather, rubber and dog collars as common fashion on the streets and allowed for mainstream exposure of alternative culture on the TV and in music videos. With the ubiquity of internet access, images, videos and meetup sites dedicated to pup play moved online making it more accessible and normalised than ever.
Keith Race is a Canadian photographer and multidisciplinary artist-journalist who studied at Emily Carr Institute for Art and Design as well as Concordia University. His work has been published in VICE Magazine and the Washington Post, among others. He lives in Montreal where he runs a small photo studio in the heart of the gay village.
His work was also part of SEAS' May exhibition, 'The Face of the Other'.