If you thought dogs’ appeal was already sky-high, that their aplomb in front of a camera was unimpeachable (well, most of the time), you haven’t seen the work of photographer Julia Christe yet. This is where animals level up to previously unmatched heights.
Christe’s animal portraits—which include series such as ‘Flying Dogs’, ‘Goat Personalities’ and horses captured in the midst of deeply human moments—are nothing short of mesmeric. The photographer’s work caught the eye of Italian jewellery designer Ethel Norcia from Tolemaide, who offered up a unique and irresistible brief: recruit dogs and farm animals to model the artist’s bold pieces. Christe reflects: “We decorate our domestic animals anyway—for example, decoration on horses is a century-long tradition. Ear tags are compulsory on livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats. Though this doesn’t fit as jewellery, you can compare it to an eye-catching earring. Rings on poultry legs are common, and dogs wear a collar nowadays is not only a useful accessory but rather a chic piece of jewellery.”
If you’re picturing chaotic scenes of wings flapping, hooves thumping and mud flying you’d be off base; the resulting series captures handsome hounds and their farm animal kin looking eminently composed (in the published shots, at least). Geese adorned with jewels, nonchalant rams with earring-bedecked horns, and dogs posing as though they were born to it.
“On set, I could see which jewellery goes with which animal; I didn’t plan much. Dicki the pig wore an earring and it didn’t bother him at all, but Gustav the goose had serious objections to wearing a necklace, so he removed two necklaces within a few seconds. A cat fled with a necklace and returned without it,” Christe explains. Lost or damaged pieces are a product shrinkage price that von Tolemaide was more than willing to pay—the resulting photographs are well worth it. A poodle holding its paw aloft, a cuff bangle on display. An Afghan hound, hair blowing in the wind like Beyoncé, a magnificent pendant hanging from its long neck. These are works you can’t put a price tag on (Gustav would find a way to get it off).
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