When the old adage ‘never work with children or animals’ was announced, Dan Burn-Forti must have had his headphones on. Or, more accurately, the London-based photographer took a few random photos of dogs, deemed them folio-worthy, and was soon inundated with requests for commissions: “Before I knew it, I had a separate animal portfolio and something of a standalone career as a photographer of beasts.” While human subjects remain Burn-Forti’s bread and butter, the superiority of canine nature can’t be denied: “I’m pretty much certain that dogs are better than humans. Sure, dogs can get tired or a bit nervous on set, but they never throw a strop and storm off or complain about the time it’s taking,” laughs Burn-Forti. In addition to their on-set chill attitudes, dogs are just straight-up sincere, which is what Burn-Forti enjoys most. He captures this earnestness with crisp simplicity in his portraits—a style distinguished by unique compositions, Wes Anderson-esque palettes and silliness spliced with sophistication: “When I’m photographing animals, I try to show something of their quirky personality, rather than just generic stereotypes. Rather than it being a portrait of a border collie, I want it to be a portrait of Fido the border collie. Each dog has its own personality and it’s the funny little moments of individuality that I want to capture.”
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a celebration of pup and pop culture for music and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020