I Love Dogs at VB Photo Centre, 4.12.2020–28.2.2021.
Why have I photographed Finnish men whose identities include pup play?
After my best friend died the people around me reacted in different ways to our common loss. The coping of this sudden and unwanted reminder of how limited also our own lives are, took different shapes for all of us. For one of my friends these existential questions strengthened the idea of not only being a father, but also a dog.
I often photograph things I want to learn more about or get to know better. This series was born from the need to understand my friend better, because at least from my perspective, the transformation from a father with seemingly traditional values to a dog was quite big.
My friend has been incredibly brave and I’m proud and happy that he doesn’t need to hide or be ashamed of this part of his life anymore when he is with me.
Photographing this series has been a great adventure and I have learned a lot not only about people, but also dogs and myself. It is actually unbelievably relaxing to drive on the parking lot of the local supermarket with a rubber dog in the backseat that puffs to the mailman passing by. At that moment you don’t think about life or death, you just feel pure joy.”
Aki-Pekka Sinikoski, Photographer
”It has been great that Peki (Aki-Pekka) wanted to get to know this part of life which is important to me. We have been driving around Finland, talked a lot and photographed doggies in the gay scene. Many have felt that it is remarkable and important to be able to be part of this photo series and exhibition. There is still a lot of stigma connected to the fetishes and many in the gay fetish scene has needed to come out twice; first as a sexual minority person and then as a fetishist.
Fetish and BDSM lifestyle has followed me from my childhood, but the road to self-
acceptance has been long. After our common friend passed away, I realized how limited life is and how important it is to live as ourselves. It has felt liberating that I have finally been able to be my own kind of me also with Peki. The fact that I haven’t needed to hide one part of my life from him, has also deepened our friendship.”
Sam the Guardian Dog