Positioning itself as a place where dogs and culture collide, each issue of Four & Sons considers the cultural impact of the dog, taking its reader on a guided tour through the worlds of art, photography, music, literature – and even maths – that are inspired by man’s best friend.
The tone of Four & Sons is lively and upbeat, staying true to an introduction that promises high spirits and oxytocin. This issue opens by going behind the scenes of dogs’ biggest Hollywood moment this year – Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, with a piece that marvels at the intricacies of the film. It then shifts its focus to Susumu Kamijo’s borderline abstract poodle drawings (below), describing the dogs as though they are real life creatures, and not vibrant creations.
Recently, we looked at the fourth issue of Dog, a magazine focused on the presence of dogs and their owners in society. Although both magazines share a devotion to man’s best friend, there are clear differences between the two; where Dog zones in on the interactions and love between dogs and their owners, often through the use of playful illustrations, Four & Sons considers dogs from a wider standpoint, looking less at the personal, and more at where dogs lie in our cultural conscience.
There are, of course, moments devoted to individual owners and dogs, such as costume designer Ane Crabtree’s Catahoula George (above), who spends most of his time on the set of The Handmaid’s Tale, and Scottish designer Christopher Kane’s pooch Bruce Tito (below). But the dogs are often entry points into the careers of their owners, rather than the subjects of the pieces themselves.
Elsewhere, in a wonderfully conceived piece, Ruby Goss speaks to five chefs about what they feed their dogs; OddFellow’s Ice Cream owner Sam Mason admits that he and his dogs are all partial to foie gras and black truffles, while Club Mexicana’s Merial Armitage’s slightly less pampered pooch enjoys… horse shit.
If I were to compare Four & Sons and Dog, I might have to say that Four & Sons has the edge, as every piece in the magazine really is very well thought-out and engaging, whereas there are moments where Dog loses pace. However, I do like the consistency of Dog, and I think devoting each issue to a different breed makes it temptingly collectable. My advice: buy them both.
Editorial and creative direction: Marta Roca