Hosung Jang doesn’t like boundaries. He pushes them, blurs them, twists them. Under the moniker Public Animals, the Korean photographer explores dog’s emotions, gestures and expressions through black and white portraiture.His intention? To hold up a proverbial mirror so we reflect on what brings us together, not apart. “Dogs are able to naturally communicate through their expressions and behaviour,” he says. “They can feel what we feel.”
In his latest series, Jang takes a detour, adding paint over large-format portraits. Rhapsody is the photographer’s first foray into mixed-media, an expression of his admiration for the medium and a self-imposed challenge. “I’ve always admired paintings, but I’ve never tried before I started this series. I want to expand the view of my work,” he explains. When asked about lessons learned, Jang adds “Nothing is easy in this world.”
After digitally printing on canvas, Jang applies layers and layers of acrylic paint. The process is repeated over and over—and over again, sometimes painstakingly, up to 50 times. Once completed, the artwork is re-scanned and printed a second time. Jang concedes using photographs as canvas could be deemed a cliché: “Although photography and painting are different mediums, they coexist in the image. Layers are stacked and stacked to blur the boundary. I want to compare this process to the relationship between human and animals.” Some brushstrokes are furious, seemingly intended to deface the underlying image; others are cautious, gently used as framing devices. The paint turns Jang’s formal photography into tactile abstract pieces, staining, obscuring or highlighting different parts of the image, and ultimately revealing a new point of view.
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