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Are things looking up for dog art?

Art (or more precisely, artists) can take a hit in hard economic times, but dog art — especially of the non-traditional variety — may be escaping the recession’s full impact. In fact, things might even be, like this dog, looking up.

Portraits of cats and dogs have long been a staple, but now “hipper, more affluent pet owners are commissioning more adventurous, less-kitschy portraits that can even find a home on gallery walls,” the Boston Globe reported this week.

“I enjoy trying to catch their personalities or a certain sense of dignity I believe animals have into their portraits,” said Jane O’Hara, who sells prints at www.janeohara.com and donates part of her proceeds to PETA. “It’s quite a thing these days. Pets are big business.”

O’Hara, whose “Dog Looking Up” (acrylic on wood block) is featured above, is one several artists taking part in “Best In Show: Artists and Their Dogs,” an exhibit at Boston’s Brickbottom Gallery.

O’Hara originally painted portraits of people, the article notes, but got tired of “the extra layer of trying to figure out how this person wanted to be seen or how they see themselves.” She’s been painting animals for six or seven years.

The article quotes Brian Henderson, editor of DogBoston.com, as saying many young couples are postponing having children, giving them more attention and disposable income to lavish on their dogs.

Speaking of dog artists, our friend (and designer of our website) Gil Jawetz — painter of dogs and other things — will be part of Talking Heads… Figuratively Speaking, an exhibit opening Saturday at Baltimore’s  Gallery 321, 321 Madison Street. The opening is from 7 to 9 p.m.

(Photo from janeohara.com)


Comment from scepanskijc
Time January 10, 2009 at 7:10 pm

Remember that famous painting of the different breeds sitting around the card table?