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Civilized Dogs

2020

Poking gentle fun at our tendency to attribute human emotions to our pets, this assemblage takes things to an extreme with a dalmatian mother taking her pups to a dog-themed art museum.

Paintings of dogs hang on the walls, and a bulldog button sits atop each column. The paintings are digitally manipulated photos of real paintings of dogs, with the color cast adjusted slightly to blend with the amber, lilac and gold colors elsewhere in this sculpture.

The painting on the left is “The Greyhounds of the Comte de Choiseul” by Auguste Courbet; the one on the right is T. Langlois’s “The Fisherman’s Terriers.” The velvet valence is embellished with a segment of a necklace of amber, agate (a semiprecious stone), pearls and Murano glass. Additional materials include dollhouse miniatures, realistic models of dalmatians, buttons, wood, metal, velvet and paper.

Custom framed with museum glass in a sophisticated deep wooden frame in collaboration with Chevy Chase Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Price: USD 2,500.

Frame color: Black

Size (in inches): 13.75 x 18.75 x 4

Framing

Though many designs appear simple, each work in fact takes several months to create. The final version is rarely the one initially envisioned; the laws of gravity force numerous adjustments. Execution involves a multitude of skills, some of which are acquired specifically to achieve the desired artistic result. In fact, it took several years of experimenting before I even hit upon a technique for creating assemblages. 

The framing process is itself a component of the work, both conceptually and artistically. Though the frame is clean and modern in appearance, the framing process is not as simple as it seems. The determination whether to create a "room" (as with Born Free) or an intimate atmosphere (as with What Price Silence) is in fact part of the artistic process.  

Works are custom framed to provide sufficient depth to accomplish my artistic goals as well as to support the weight of the work (often 40-60 pounds). The 4-inch deep decorative wooden frame curves outward to bring the work closer to the viewer.  

As many designs are supported by the base as well as the backing, the framing process can be tricky. It took several months of experimentation to determine how to create a work that it was practical to frame. The glass protects the work from damaged caused by dust and dusting.

Assemblage silver frame model.jpg
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