It’s funny what you find when you dig around in the corners of the overcrowded shedio. This morning I found this slate whilst looking for something else entirely and I’m pretty sure hasn’t seen the light of day since it was created six or seven years ago.
I’ve got literally no idea what I was thinking when I came up with this bad bitch but I obviously thought better than posting it. Now, with a bit of time between creation and reflection, I can still only wonder what my intentions were. Perhaps she was meant to be the result of some warped government experiments. Sadly, it looks like we’ll never know now. Just make up your own reason for the picture and we’ll leave it at that…
I was reading something about the artist Jeff Koons and the fact that his piece ‘Balloon dog (orange)’ sold for a world record auction price for a piece of work by a living artist in November 2013. It sold for a staggering $58.4 million. Art critics are apparently divided over whether he’s due to be historically important or whether his works are crass and kitsch and are the product of cynical self-marketing.
Personally I love shiny stuff and I also love things that are comically out of proportion so the massive shiny metal balloon dogs are something that really appeal to me. Although whether I’d pay the best part of $60 million for one (even if I had it) remains to be seen. Anyway, all that may seem beside the point but now here’s the segue back to today’s piece. I recently had a very strange dream which I think was influenced by the article on Koons that I had read. It made little sense – as dreams are wont to do but one residing image I had of that dream is pretty much what you see before you. A man staring quizzically at the large and shiny Koons balloon dog that he has on a piece of string. I’d like to think it some kind of sub-conscious commentary on art as a commodity but I’m pretty sure I’m far too shallow for that. So there you have it. Take from that what you will…
Oh, and it’s all done on some fancy handmade rag paper which is slightly more absorbent that I thought it would be but I guess you live and learn.
Title: Down boy!
Media: Spraypaint, stencils and imagination.
Size: 30 x 60cm
After an enforced spring clean it turns out we had a load of stuff tucked away that really needed to find a new home so it was time to hit the streets.
First up was our canine pal Rex and where better than Battersea Dog and Cat’s home for an errant street dog. Hopefully he’ll have a long and fulfilling life with a new owner. Who knows? All I do know is that he’s a good boy…
Little Sunday here came into the UK on a false dog passport from Lithuania to be sold on at a huge profit. She was caught at dog customs and put into quarantine but after the necessary checks was certified healthy, given a new British passport and found her way to our friend who’s a dog trainer via Dogs Trust. Since then she’s got a little box for her to snooze in and also to stand on whilst training. And who better to give the box a little lick of colour than us. As the box is used both sides up we wanted her name to be legible either way and to give it a nice lady-like colour scheme. Add to that the ‘with love from Lithuania’ and you’ve got the whole package. Now doesn’t she look just adorable?
It’s funny isn’t it. If a 4 year old passed you just about anything and motioned there was someone on the phone for you you’d probably have a quick fake phone call using the banana (or whatever you were handed) before passing it back and suggesting whoever was on the line wanted to speak to them again. You would probably feel a bit stupid doing it but you’d do it all the same to make the child happy.
Somehow, on the transition from childhood to becoming an adult we lose this mysterious skill of being able to imagine just about anything is real. Or face being carted off to the nearest mental institution. Which is quite a harsh penalty for something that’s positively encouraged as a child.
Anyway, this little girl is strolling round without a care in the world as she has her imaginary ‘dog’, Mr Snuffles, to keep her company. And who’s to say she’s wrong. Not me as I did the picture in the first place.
As a little bonus here’s my original child-like sketch of Mr Snuffles…
Brookie! Staffy’s seem to have gained something of a bad reputation but if you ever met Brooke then I’m sure you realised that was an ill gained notoriety. In fact just about all staffy’s I’ve come across have been lovely pups but Brooke was perhaps the best envoy for a somewhat maligned breed.
I always remember the time I was sat outside the pub with Brooke just minding her own business beside me. Some big guy came walking along the street and Brooke went over towards them to say hello. Next thing I hear ‘hey mate keep your dog away from me’ in a voice somewhere between fear and anger. I had to laugh, not only because he was a big baby and Brooke only wanted to give him a sniff and, if he was lucky, to sit on his feet as she loved to do but also because Brooke certainly didn’t belong to me. She only ever had eyes for her human mum. My cat doesn’t like dogs and didn’t make any exception for Brooke. But she probably should have done.
Anyway we did our best to make our little tribute as realistic looking to Brooke as we could achieve and I have to say it’s a lot more difficult to make a piece look like a particular dog than I would have thought. But there you have it. We did our best. Sleep well princess.
We’ve just completed an epic roadtrip for Dogs Trust where we painted 12 walls in 12 cities in 12 days for their annual ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ campaign. Each day had a different dog and featured a real (and entirely ridiculous) reason that a dog had been handed in to one of their rehoming centres.
We started off in London and then had to pack up the van and hit the road for 12 fun filled days hitting a new city each day and then moving straight on. We usually started about 9 and then had to be finished by 2 as they’d bring along a dog from the nearby rehoming centre to get some photo’s in order to try and get some publicity for the campaign and spread the word about responsible dog ownership.
I think my favourite dogs are the collie from London, the playful puppy from Glasgow and our final wall in Brighton that features a pug who was handed in as he kept chasing frogs. Who could possibly hand a pug in for that? Remember kids ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’…