It goes without saying that one of the most ubiquitous sightings on the web are millions upon trillions of pet photos. Cat gifs, funny dog videos, puppy memes, and even an entire currency. But every once in a while an animal (or group of animals), paired with the right photographer, rises above the mammalian fray and enters the realm of art. We’ve seen it here on Colossal with the works of Carli Davidson, Seth Casteel, Theron Humphrey & Maddie, and Sonya Yu & Trotter. Enter the latest contenders: self-taught photographer Elke Vogelsang and her three dogs Noodles, Scout and Loli.
Based in Hildesheim, Germany, Vogelsang is a professional photographer who mostly shoots portraits of people and pets, but in her spare time spends plenty of time with her trio of rescue dogs who frequently find themselves in front of the camera. Two of the dogs are Galgo Español mixes and the youngest, Loli, is a bonafide mut. Regardless of their pedigree, Vogelsang has a knack for capturing the dogs at their most expressive moments, resulting in photos that are equally heartwarming and humorous.
Published just today, Shake is a new book of photos from Portland-based photographer Carli Davidson who used a high speed camera to capture hilarious freeze-frame shots of various dogs mid-shake. The amusing portraits seem to transform ordinary pets into strangely distorted animals right out of a cartoon. Known for her candid and heartfelt portraits of pets and wildlife, Davidson first began photographing animals while working with the animal care team at the Oregon Zoo. Shake was partially inspired by her own dog Norbert whose drool she regularly scrubs from the walls of her home due to his frequent shaking.
To accompany the book Davidson also teamed up with the folks over at Variable to make a slow motion montage of numerous dogs shaking and rolling their heads. That’s two whole minutes of glorious HD drool. Shake features a total of 130 high speed photos of 61 dogs, some of which are also available as prints. Pick it up here.
As part of her current exhibition titled Earthshine at Gallery Wendi Norris (which is aslo her American solo debut), Japanese multidisciplinary artist Tomoko Konoike explores various crystaline structures in sculptures and drawings. Drawing inspiration from manga, Shinto animism, Noh drama, and pop culture, the artist creates surreal, otherworldly artworks that encompass sculpture, drawing, photography, and animation.
Among one of her most striking works is this amazing six-legged wolf wrapped in mirror shards titled Donning Animal Skins and Braided Grass. The wolf is now extinct in Konoike’s native Japan, but is a prominent spiritual symbol in much of her art. You can see much more over on Hi-Fructose and Gallery Wendi Norris. The exhibition runs through October 26, 2013.
Ontario-based graphic designer Andrew Knapp noticed that his 4.5 year old border collie, Momo, would always hide when fetching sticks instead of dutifully returning them. After photographing a few of the shots Knapp hatched an idea for a series of urban and rural landscapes with the dog hiding somewhere in the frame. He’s a well-camouflaged pup, definitely the ‘Where’s Waldo’ of the internet. You can follow Momo’s hide and seek adventures at GoFindMomo.com and on Instagram. (thnx, kate!)
The bar for fine art photographs of dogs in goofy costumes was set quite high in the 70s and 80s by photographer William Wegman and his Weimaraner companions Man Ray and Fay Ray, and while I suspect 20% of the entire industry of the internet is spent sharing adorable pet photos, it’s rare to see a single animal transcend the rest. Some worthy contenders recently have been Theron Humphrey and his dog Maddie, and also Seth Casteel’s underwater dogs. But a new pup has thrown down the gauntlet and her name is Trotter, a one-year-old French Bulldog lovingly captured by her owner, San Francisco photographer Sonya Yu who bills herself as a Professional Food Pornographer. You can follow Trotter’s dressy exploits on Yu’s Instagram feed but also check out her personal work which is outstanding. (via the fluffington post, which apparently, is a thing)
Back in February I posted a few photos from an ongoing travelog by Theron Humphrey as he traveled around the U.S with his coonhound Maddie, photographing her in increasingly precarious and absurd situations. In June, the 11-month journey finally came to an end after driving nearly 60,000 miles across the lower 48 states. Here are a few of my favorite photos over the final few months. Prints and shirts available.
Portland-based sculptor Brian Mock is a welding virtuoso, turning hundreds of discarded nuts, bolts, hinges, and forks into life-size dogs, birds, and even faithful replicas of doubleneck Gibson electric guitars. Mock says of his work:
I am intrigued by the challenge of creating an entirely unique piece from an eclectic collection of discarded objects. Giving these old, common items a new and extraordinary life as one sculpture is an artistically challenging yet gratifying process. This type of work is also designed to be highly interactive and prompt viewers to question the reality of what they see. Audience reactions fuel my motivation.
If you like what you see here, you should head on over to 360See Gallery, matter!, and his Facebook page. Mock also has a number of reasonably priced items available on Etsy including some beautiful small dogs.