With The Family of Dog, Michael Ruetz has implemented a unique photographic series in the last fifty years which at the same time presents a subtle and enlightening depiction of people and their social behaviour. Dogs, after all, are what we want to see in them and what we make of them. In the rarest case, a dog is simply an animal. Michael Ruetz photographed dogs on the street, at homes, on the beach or in front of the TV, which usually makes them fall asleep. He depicts them alone, with cats and cows and again and again as man’s companion. Ruetz avoids any mise-en-scène and imposing himself on the animals. Occasional provocative payoffs result from patient observation. As man in his daily routine, dogs slide into odd situations all the time. In this sincere and nevertheless ironic book, Michael Ruetz shows the various forms of canine existence, a comédie canine, in life as in death.
Michael Ruetz was born in Berlin in 1940. He studied Sinology, Japanese and journalism and lived abroad for thirteen years. From 1969 to 1973, he was a staff photographer for the weekly magazine Stern. Since then he has worked solely as a freelance photographer and as a contract writer and photographer with Little Brown and Company/New York Graphic Society. Ruetz is a professor for communication design at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig, Germany, and is a member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. He was appointed Officier des Arts et Lettres in 2006. With Steidl he has published Sichtbare Zeit, Das Willy-Brandt-Haus, Bibliothek der Augen, Cosmos, WindAuge, Eye on Time, Die unbequeme Zeit and Eye on Infinity.