Remember William Wegman’s dog people from Sesame Street? The photographer/artist’s Weimaraners would poke their heads out through costumes as human hands mimed performing all their actions. Yes, it was exactly as it sounds, cute but also really weird.
Decades later, in 2021, contemporary artist and photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek has put a twist on a similar idea. His calendars, currently for sale, feature 12 months of dogs doing different jobs through the use of human hands.
With a tongue-in-cheek title, “Doggystyle,” the 2022 calendar’s photos feature different breeds from the Shiba Inu to the Italian Greyhound. These dogs look right at home performing various tasks like cooking a meal, pumping some iron at the gym, and vacuuming. Although, their heads do look very strange atop human bodies.
This new series fits right in with the rest of de Koekkoek’s work. In 2019 he photographed a series of Alpacas enjoying finer living, and in 2017 he captured some amazing photographs of cats mid-air.
You can order one of these “Doggystyle” calendars here, but prepare yourself for the possibility they’re sold out already. It costs €20 ($22.69 USD.)
Inspiration And Humor
The finished product doesn’t necessarily reflect the effort involved in photographing these dogs so elegantly. In an email to CNN, De Koekkoek said:
“It’s always a challenge to shoot with animals. You cannot tell them what to do — or at least they will not give a f*** about it. I really like this honest approach and the challenge of communication without words.”
The photographer’s own dog, Limo, is featured as Mr. October (using a row machine.) He said Limo was sort of like the “first trial” for this calendar, as his dog inspires him often.
“I really enjoy the creative exchange between us, and we love to play and experiment a lot.”
As it turns out, the 12 different scenes were inspired by the dogs featured. De Koekkoek went on:
“The dogs came with their personalities and we just had to put together their outfits and sets to (emphasize) their lifestyles.”
Not to mention, who doesn’t want to start their month off right with something silly and cute? This is often the philosophy that drives De Koekkoek.
“Humor is what definitely drives my work. There are enough bad things going on already. So I want to give people a pause and just have a laugh.”
Other doggie workers featured in the calendar are a Chihuahua reporter, a Vizsla fortune teller, and a Yellow Lab photographer.