I fell in love with Areca’s work several years ago, when I found out about her series Habitat through fellow animal artist Calder Kamin. I’m a sucker for square images, and I think the subtle, quiet, and mysterious qualities in Areca’s photography are so lovely. I first saw Areca’s later project, Housebroken, a few years ago and I can’t believe I’ve never featured it here. Like Tatiana Gulenkina’s series Second Nature, the images show atypical pets, but they’re in conventional domestic spaces. The pictures are odd, funny, at times off-putting, and very beautiful.

From the artist’s statement: For this project, I photographed unusual pets in their domestic environments. Over the past three years, I’ve photographed creatures such as snakes, hedgehogs, pot-bellied pigs, and ferrets in their homes. The pets are fascinating animals, to be sure, but their relationship with the owners has an element of ambiguity—it is not as clear and established as the companionship and comfort offered by dogs and cats. I explore the elements of these relationships, and the tensions that occur between the apparent wildness of the creature and its tame, domestic surroundings of soft textures and clutter. Conversely, some of the animals almost blend into their domestic surroundings, as if their camouflage has adapted to the new environment. I collaborated with the owners in choosing the photo locations, backgrounds, and scenarios within the home.

Housebroken is available as a book, which can be purchased here.

Visit artist's site: arecaroe.com