Watching a dog run at full speed is its own magic form of meditation. Free, unbridled, living fully for that moment, a zooming dog speaks to the soul, and our own deeply held desire to unshackle ourselves from reality, to crack open our inhibitions and release our inner animal.
In his series ‘Kinetic’, San Diego-based photographer James Lee distils this inarticulable feeling in mesmerising black and white photographs. “The series started by accident,” tells Lee. “I was taking a workshop photographing the San Diego River. Where the river empties into the ocean there’s a beach where dogs are allowed off leash. At one point a dog flashed past me and I instinctively turned and pressed the shutter release. Because it was late in the day, the shutter was at 1/5 second. I loved the result. The blurred dog, the low sun reflecting off the wet sand… it wasn’t like anything I had seen before, but I felt the same energy looking at the photo as I did when the dog ran past me. That became the series.”
Three years ago, Lee “stumbled” into what became the defining bones of his unique process. The artist selects a single subject and photographs only that subject for an entire year. In the case of Kinetic, dogs moving at warp speed became Lee’s year-long muse.
Lee: “I like this pattern for two main reasons. One, I go out with purpose, looking for specific images. The second reason: I stop taking photos after a year and start working on the book, choosing the sequence and designing the book.” For those without immediate or regular access to a zoom-loving dog, keep an eye out for Lee’s upcoming printed project.
We are thrilled to introduce Dog-Friendly, a collection of city guides for dog-loving people, created together with our long-time contributor, photographer Winnie Au, and fellow enthusiasts, indie publisher Hoxton Mini Press. Available for purchase here.
August 25, 2021
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