Furries and Despair
For immediate release.
Intriguing photographs by Ron Lussier and Bobby Pin intermingle the self-perceptions of “furries” and the feral world of modern Detroit, in a two-man show titled, “Furries and Despair” at Canessa Gallery in San Francisco, opening on November 7, 2014.
Furries are people interested in anthropomorphic art, cartoons and costumes. Many like to take the form of animals, real or imagined, by dressing in “fursuits,” akin to athletic team mascots. Others may simply add a tail to their pants or ears to their hats. Although the furry community, like all communities, has a sexual side, Lussier’s photographs are family friendly, exploring the emotions and self-perceptions of furries and their partners.
Lussier humanized his subjects by asking them to write a furry confession. Many seem to render the cartoon world to real life. “My only domestic quality is that I live in a house,” declares a dog adorned with patchwork fur, ears and a tail. “I’m a pretty, pretty Pegasus,” says a My Little Pony look alike, “So watch out!”
Anthropomorphism goes both ways, as Bobby Pin’s Despair collection reveals. No self-realized colorful animals live here in post-modern Detroit. Instead, we watch self-destructing monuments evolve to wilderness. Haunting factories, graffiti art, decaying roofs and rusted automobiles remind us that human ambition provides no challenge, in the long run, to nature.
Pin’s works are architectural, with an element of luminism. A shining future awaits those who can survive a treacherous path through this jungle of hidden threats. Many graffiti artists have gravitated to Detroit, as its abandoned buildings provide more permanent canvases, allowing their primitivist art to survive the synthetic onslaught of humanity. Pin’s work uncovers many of these artists’ hidden treasures, beaconing to us to discover a wilder world.
Ron Lussier’s recent works have focused on what he calls “tribes” whose cultures are shaped by shared passions. These range from dog owners to nudists to Burning Man participants. He seeks to incorporate the thoughts of his subjects in their images, adding subjective self-perception to the otherwise objectivist world of photography. Lussier graduated from UMass Amherst, with a Bachelor of Science emphasizing computer art.
Bobby Pin’s BFA from California College of the Arts emphasized film production and cinematography. His work incorporates a strong sense of composition and light. “I love the challenge of telling a whole story in one frame,” he said, “I want people to feel the same emotion I feel when they view my photographs, and that requires thinking about story-boarding, even though these are isolated images.”
Lussier and Pin have collaborated on many projects, including performance pieces and photographic collections. Both have been official staff photographers for Burning Man. When putting this two-man exhibition together, they sought contrast over collaboration. The effect is strangely compelling. In the anthropomorphic world of furries, humans seeks the synthesized perfection of cartoon animals, while in the real world of humans-gone-feral, we gain a hauntingly gorgeous chaos. What emerges is “wild is beautiful.”
Furries and Despair
708 Montgomery St (at Washington)
San Francisco, CA 94111
Reception: November 7, 2014, 6:00pm to 9:00pm. A fursuit “crawl” from downtown is planned to arrive at 8:00pm. Contact BAF@Fur.com to participate, document or observe.
Show runs from November 7 to December 1, 2014.
Bobby Pin, +1 (415) 295-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Lussier, +1 (415) 669-4766, email@example.com