If you didn't yet know it, today is International Dog Day. And to mark this joyous occasion, dog and culture magazine, Four&Sons, has announced it will launch its first book this October, featuring illustrations by Michael Gillette that depict famous musicians as pooches.
Pack of Dogs by the San Francisco-based, Welsh-born artist allows you to imagine Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a chihuahua, Neil Young as a vizsla and PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound. The unique project was inspired by a box of 1960s dog cards and combines Michael's love of music, art and human's most loyal friend. From legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and Lemmy to more contemporary musicians such as Pharrell, Bjork and Lady Gaga, Michael has drawn 45 of his favourite artists into their compelling canine counterparts.
Of course, Michael's career is steeped in popular culture, having designed posters and album art for bands such as St Etienne, Elastica, Beck and The Beastie Boys to revamping the Penguin James Bond 007 book covers. "I've always been fascinated with the look of musicians and how they influence fashion and street style," he says. "I grew up in Britain in the early-80s where it was the high-water mark of youth culture revivals: mods, rockabillies, Ska, skinheads, punks, along with new wave, new romantics, heavy metal; all these tribes, led by musicians. First, I made a Bowie Chihuahua, and that dog led to other musicians. As I've gone on, it gets harder, and I set myself odd challenges: 'Can I turn one dog into all four of the Beatles?' It's a game."
Pack of Dogs is the first of many dog-centric titles to be published by Four&Sons. Marta Roca, its founder and creative director, said she first came across Michael's work in 2016 when scouting for artists who are inspired by dogs. "I recall seeing Kurt, Lemmy and Amy's dog counterparts first and falling in love with them immediately. The mash-up between the familiar and the otherworldly; the balance between the icons we all recognise, and these new creatures is mesmerising. Seeing our favourite musicians as dogs shines a new light, even if only imaginary."
Pack of Dogs is a joyful, quirky and uplifting book designed for music, pop culture and dog lovers alike. With a choice of four collectable covers, you can expect it to hit the shelves this October. Pre-order a copy at fourandsons.com.