Australian dog magazine Four&Sons strikes a balance between beautiful photography and short, intelligent copy. It uses dog ownership as a lens for talking about art, design, fashion, music and other aspects of a subject’s dog-centric life, writes Sarah Snaith.
Some of the images are familiar – like Sophie Gamand’s Wet Dog series, seen on sites like boredpanda – but in print, the images conjure memories of wrangling water-hating dogs into the bathtub. Each of Gamand’s doggy subjects take-on imagined human characteristics showing their distaste for the smell of the shampoo or the temperature of the water. They sit well with Martin Usborne’s recent series of dog portraits called Nice to meet you (one of which is on the cover).
Fiorella Valdesolo’s short biography of the famed Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt is accompanied by his candid black and white photos of dogs in New York, London, Brazil, France and Ireland. She quotes one of Erwitt’s favourite phrases – ‘I like working with children and animals. They are more obedient than grown-ups… and they don’t ask for prints’ – and exposes his affection for dogs and keen sense of humour. In the interview, Erwitt speculates on the political leanings of Upper West Side versus East Side dogs and shares his own continued mourning for the loss of his Cairn terrier Sammy.
There are several interviews. Issue one features an interview with New York gallerist Kathy Grayson (with Bert), a profile of artists Johanna Jackson and Chris Johanson (with Raisin) and an interview with fashion designer Hillary Taymour (with Powwow).
There is art. The magazine is well-illustrated with images from Indianapolis-based artist Nathaniel Russell whose DIY flyers get two spreads, Warren Fu (his illustration of a miniature pinscher snarls towards Samantha Gurrie’s piece ‘Sound bite’) and David Shrigley – the witty quick-fire drawing reads ‘Artist eaten by wolf’.
Sarah Snaith is a new contributor to magCulture, and also writes for Eye, Pulp and Creative Review. Sarah has had two dogs: Maggie, a Yorkshire Terrier and Calla, a German Shepherd. If space allowed, she would have a Dachshund and a Great Dane.