In the cult black-and-white French social drama La Haine, the main character Vinz likes to imagine himself as his hero, Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, by acting out his famous “You talkin’ to me?” monologue in the mirror. Over in Eindhoven, illustrator Steven Janson likes to envision Vinz as Doggo Wolf, an anthropomorphic version of his German shepherd / Akita / Chinook cross, Wolf, who sadly passed away in 2019.
Janson’s work often depicts Doggo Wolf in a Vinz-esque tracksuit and Nike Air Max 90 trainers, hanging with La Haine protagonists Hubert and Saïd (in this instance, Wolf’s bull mastiff and Doberman friends), but sometimes they’re characters from The Sopranos, a pro-skater like Lance Mountain or Biggie Smalls, 2Pac or Dr. Dre. They’re tough but misunderstood, like Wolf, Janson says. “He looked so intimidating; people were afraid of him when they first saw him. But he had such a good heart and was friendly towards everyone.”
“[Doggo Wolf] is a mix of Wolf’s original character—calm, sweet and friendly—combined with all the stuff I really like and stand for,” Janson says. If Doggo Wolf was listening to music, it’d be Nate Dogg or Willie Nelson. “He doesn’t like country that much, but he can play Willie on repeat.” And in his spare time? “He’d skateboard a little and play some golf afterwards. Maybe play some Tony Hawk on the PlayStation One in the evening.”
A selection of prints and a silver Doggo pendant are available from Janson’s website, and check out the Wolf-inspired goods by Sun of Wolves—a dog- and human-friendly lifestyle brand by Janson and his girlfriend, photographer Cleo Goossens.
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