Safer at Home: Exploring the ONE Archives Collection

Week 3 (May 4, 2020)

In this photograph taken by Pat Rocco, pioneering gay filmmaker and activist, a man simultaneously hands out a treat to his cat and dog while in the kitchen. The image captures the joy of this individual interacting with his pets. The framing, pairing, and symmetry in the image give the viewer much to enjoy in addition to the subjects. The blank whiteness of the man’s shirt and refrigerator balance the patterned tile floor. The cat, the dog, and the man all stand on two legs. While the cat graciously and cautiously accepts its treat—inspecting it first with a paw, the dog has no such reservations and quickly accepts it straight from the man’s hand. The dog’s body echoes the man’s body position, while the cat appears more as his mirror image. The three figures create a diamond in the center of the rectangular frame, leaving triangles of negative space in the four corners. The image encourages us to notice the shapes and contours created by the photographer. Rocco and his photograph remind us to look for and appreciate the geometry and balance of everyday life at home.

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