Rad Dogs

Creative projects honor man’s best friend

From Lolcats to Bodega Cats, felines have been the more prominent pet of the social sphere in recent years. Lately, however, several projects focused on dogs indicate that canines are now nipping at their heels for the top dog title. While certainly more highbrow than the average GIF, these films and print publications that honor dogs are barking up the right tree as of late. 


Artist Laurie Anderson’s new feature film Heart of a Dog is a meditation on death and remembrance that spans not only her late husband, Lou Reed, but also her dearly departed rat terrier, Lolabelle. Short-listed for an Oscar, the film contains a particularly poetic sequence of shifting viewpoints, including that of a dog’s eye. Earlier this month, the film was shown in Times Square as part of the Midnight Moment series. A monthly presentation from The Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts, the screening had an unusual target demographic: dogs. NYPD canine handlers and their dogs were in attendance, and viewers were encouraged to bring their pups.


Despite the fact that digital devices tend to outnumber books and newspapers among readers spied on public transit, print is not dead. In fact, last year indie magazine subscription service Stack reported a 78% increase in revenue and a 76% increase in subscribers. As elegantly designed as it is literate, Four&Sons is one such periodical propelling the print boom. Its focus is dogs but it owes more to William Wegman than Dog Fancy. The print magazine, which also has an online component, was founded in the idea that dogs are not just companions but also muses. The result is a chronicle of noteworthy people and their work (art, music, photography, literature) as explored through the lens of their dogs.


Creative director and editor Luis Venegas is the mastermind behind a number of independent publications, including Fanzine 137, a collage of popular image makers and icons, and Candy, the first fashion magazine dedicated to transgender culture and androgyny. His latest work, The Printed Dog, features dog lovers across the fields of fashion, art, and photography. Released last month, the second issue has four different covers by Ryan McGinley, Peter Lindbergh, Terry Richardson, and William Wegman, along with features about astronaut dog Laika, dog painter Jamie Wyeth, and an interview with the creator of Dogue, a celebrated canine parody of Vogue.