Amy Winehouse, petite and tough as a Chihuahua, John Lennon, disheveled and dreamy like an Afghan hound. The idea came to Welsh artist Michael Gillette after buying a dozen vintage postcards featuring dogs at a flea market in San Francisco.
“I started drawing on them, anthropomorphizing them with different hairstyles,” says the illustrator from his studio in California. “I imagined them with punk crests, rockabilly bananas, mullet new wave”. And if in the beginning his mod and heavy metal schnauzer arms reflected the youth subcultures of the 70s and 80s without looking like any star, in his latest book Pack of Dogs, released last October, Gillette’s dogs are the exact canine “me” of David Bowie, Neil Young, Prince, Lady Gaga and many other celebrities.
«The look revolves around the hairstyle», explains the artist, «to obtain the afro effect of Jimi Hendrix it took me days. It is the details of the hair that make it genuine. It is a parallel universe where these faithful friends, in the end, exist ». Singers like PJ Harvey or Patti Smith, with a less distinct style, they were a challenge: “Female canine representations are more difficult.” Pack of Dogs is the first book published by Four & Sons, the Australian magazine that investigates the bizarre and wonderful connection between dogs and humans: “Dogs add another dimension to people, break barriers, stimulate creativity,” says Marta Roca on the phone from Sydney founder and creative director of Four & Sons.
Four illustrations from the book “Pack of Dogs”, created by Michael Gilette, a Welsh artist with a passion for pop / rock music and dogs. Opening Björk.