Can you tell us about the bulldog in your work?
In The Companionship Species Manifesto, Haraway makes a case for reevaluating our relationship with all our worldly co-habitants, dogs being a significant example of the intimacy and historical coevolution that humans are capable of. The value of dogs’ lives does not and should not depend on their intimacy with us, (i.e. if they are loved/accepted by us or if they make us feel loved). It is important to understand that most of our projections of human emotions/intentions upon them are false—they are fundamentally different animals that we have found a way to cohabit with.
The American Bully is my breed of choice to paint because they exemplify this projection—many owners breed bullies to be uncannily muscular, feeding them protein powders and steroids, and putting them onto workout routines as if they were their human bodybuilder companion. The name of the breed also carries certain connotations for me.
Marginalized communities have long been put down by being compared to animals (dogs, monkeys, rats, general pre-homo sapiens “savages”), and thinking of ourselves as truly no better than dogs is the first step in working towards a non-anthropocentric post-human future.