Xolotl, The Soul Companion, was my first time photographing dogs in natural landscapes since shooting a series about stray dogs in Puerto Rico (Dead Dog Beach). This time, I worked with pure bred Xoloitzcuintlis, the Mexican hairless dogs.
In Aztec mythology, the dog god Xolotl is the Sunset god. He accompanies and guards the Sun into the land of Death every night. The earthly dog was presented to mankind as a gift from the gods. The men were instructed to protect and care for their dogs. In return, when the time comes, their dogs would guide their souls in the afterlife. The deceased soul and its dog companion would wander side by side beneath the earth for four years before finally reaching their ultimate destination, Mictlan.
The Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican hairless dog, received his name from the Aztec god Xolotl. The national dog of Mexico, it is one of the oldest and rarest dog breeds in the world, having accompanied mankind for at least 3,000 years.
The series was a way to reconnect with my darker creative self, a place I treasure, and to break free from the Wet Dog and Flower Power format: square portraits of dogs facing the viewer. I was curious to see if I could tell a story in a few frames.
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