Furry Portraits

For those unfamiliar, Furries are an internet born subculture united by a fascination with anthropomorphic animal characters. Participants in the community create an alternate identity based on an animal character of their own design, and interact over forums and social media and at conventions around the world. These identities are made tangible through the creation of fursuits—custom made costumes that represent ones alternate identity. Ideas of sexuality and desire are undeniably intertwined with the framework of Furry culture, though these aspects are still considered a taboo subject within the community.

An important distinction between the Furry community and other fandoms is the Furry community's lack of a defined canon. Unlike Trekkies, who pull from Star Trek, or Bronies, who pull from the My Little Pony franchise, there is no single source of media from which the Furry community's identity is built upon. Lacking an outside source of media to fuel the culture necessitates that participants produce and circulate content themselves. Each participant has the opportunity to affect and contribute to the community, and it is by these contributions alone that Furry culture has formed, changed and sustained. In practice, this makes Furry culture a unique space of play without strict purpose or guidelines. In my photographs, I seek to examine the various facets and figures of this decentered community through portraiture, self-portraiture and documentary methods. (Tommy Bruce)

Tommy Bruce
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