Raised by Wolves
In "The Jungle Book," Rudyard Kipling spun whimsical characters out of the wild creatures that reared a feral boy. It’s a tale that’s been told myriad times, a picture that’s been painted in myriad strokes.
"But what makes the raised by wolves trope so enchanting is how it interweaves reality with fantasy, blurring the line between man and beast."
Wanderlust takes us on a visual trip to Bangladesh, where photographer Sam Edmonds happened upon a wide-eyed tribe of runaways and strays—each others’ only creature comforts—who have turned an urban park into an unidealised Neverland. In South Africa, Roger Ballen’s band of outsiders found asylum in the artist’s Kafkaesque dream world, in which dogs are not quite domesticated and men have gone a bit wild. And Anna Kleberg’s pictures are set in a pet cemetery in Sweden—an otherworldly place where people ponder the ephemeral spell that is a dog’s life.
There are bizarre portraits that capture the humanised miens of hairless dogs, and psychedelic illustrations that render characters as cartoonish mongrels. We ask the director of Cannes award-winning film White God about its allegorical (and literal) underdog. And author Amy Hempel shares her short story "The Dog of the Marriage," whose narrator likens the human–dog relationship to a love affair, one that “begins with a fantasy.”
We look at intimate photographs taken of Lucian Freud, in a world of his own with his whippet Pluto. The artist is but one of the icons we pay homage to in this issue. We chat with William Wegman about how his conceptual work crystallized when his first Weimaraner walked into the frame; and glean dog-centric cultural tips from Bruce Weber, whose images of his golden retrievers are no less cinematic than those of his silver-screen subjects. A surreal thread is woven throughout this issue. Unravel it and you’ll find the real stories that inspired us to tell them.