Posts tagged
with dogs

Art Food

Mischievous Dogs, Moldy Fruit, and Crustacean Claws Unsettle Sabrina Bockler’s Still Lifes

February 27, 2023

Grace Ebert

A painting of two dogs wreaking havoc on a lavish table set with fruit and fish

“Table Manners” (2022), acrylic on linen over panel, 36 x 60 inches. All images © Sabrina Bockler, shared with permission

Two small dogs with long, silky hair stand atop an elegant table, one pawing at a basket of fruit and the other retrieving a fish from a platter. A bowl of strawberries has already been upturned, flowers pulled from their arrangement, a thickly piped slice of cake squashed by careless gluttony. Rendered in acrylic on linen, the still life (shown below) is titled “Decadence and Disaster,” an apt phrase to describe much of Sabrina Bockler’s body of work.

The Brooklyn-based artist relishes in mischief and disruption, painting scenes of opulence destroyed by pets or unsettled by an uncanny, foreboding feeling. Her works often imply a painstaking labor visible only through the resulting decorations, the crustacean towers, perfectly sliced melon, and floral bouquets cascading from their vases. Given the domestic nature of the settings, those preparations are coded feminine and part of Bockler’s broader inquiry into the value of women’s work.

She shares with Colossal that while she references the history of Dutch still lifes, her uncanny, surreal approach asks viewers “to think beyond the traditional aesthetic, creating a sense of chaos within a decorative still life.” Instead, Bockler strives “to encourage a reexamination of traditional gender assumptions surrounding labor and its division. My practice allows me to directly consider the ways my identity and experiences as a woman inform my identity as an artist.”

If you’re in Los Angeles, stop by Hashimoto Contemporary to see “Old Fruit” and “Decadence and Disaster” as part of the group exhibition Potluck running through March 11. Bockler is also currently preparing for a solo show titled Menagerie that opens on May 13 at BEERS London, which will “(draw) on the notion of animals being used as symbols of social power or for decorative purposes.” Find more of her lavish works on her site and Instagram.


A painting of two dogs standing on a tabletop with a bouquet, fruit, and cake

“Decadence and Disaster” (2023), acrylic on linen over panel, 24 x 36 inches

A painting of a fruit and flower tower wiht blues and pinks

“Centerpiece” (2022), acrylic on linen over panel, 30 x 30 inches

A painting of a tower of crustaceons with two claws on either side holding lit taper candles

“Candelabra” (2022), acrylic on linen over panel, 18 x 18 inches

A painting of a melon cut to reveal it's insides with other sliced fruits and flowers on the table

“Summer Solstice” (2022), acrylic on linen over panel, 18 x 18 inches

A detail photo of a painting of a crustaceon claw holding a lit taper candle

Detail of “Candelabra” (2022), acrylic on linen over panel, 18 x 18 inches

A detail photo of a pinting with fish, fruit, flowers, and a nearly empty martini glass

Detail of “Table Manners” (2022), acrylic on linen over panel, 36 x 60 inches

A painting of a dog grabbing fish from a table strewn with flowers and molding fruit

“Old Fruit” (2022), acrylic on linen over panel, 16 x 16 inches

A detail photo of a painting of a long haired dog pawing fruit from an overturned basket

Detail of “Decadence and Disaster” (2023), acrylic on linen over panel, 24 x 36 inches

A painting of a vase holding flowers overflowing from the right side with a butterfly against the blue backdrop

“Overflow” (2022), acrylic and paperclay on linen over panel, 16 x 20 inches





Historic Photographs in ‘Love Immortal’ Celebrate the Timeless Relationship Between Dogs and Their People

September 8, 2022

Kate Mothes

Images from the book ‘Love Immortal’ by Anthony Cavo, shared with permission. Copyright © 2022 by Anthony Cavo, reprinted courtesy of Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

After the first known photograph was taken in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce from the upstairs window of his home in Burgundy, France, the world became enthralled by the newfound ability to capture their loved ones—and their furry friends—for posterity. Love Immortal, a new book by antique dealer and collector Anthony Cavo, underscores the timeless and universal recognition that, to many, dogs are a fundamental part of the family.

When he was seven years old, the author began trawling New York City neighborhoods with his red wagon on the hunt for treasures. A chip off the old block—his father was also an antique dealer—Cavo grew up with a deep-seated love and appreciation for vintage objects, especially photographs, and for more than fifty years, he has been compiling an incredible catalogue of images, including hundreds of portraits of dogs and their doting owners.

The new volume published by Harper Design features more than 200 photographs made between 1840 and 1930 that span the medium’s technological spectrum, from Daguerrotypes to Ambrotypes, tintypes to cartes de visite, to sepia and black-and-white images. Portraying beloved terriers, retrievers, or hounds as expressive and lively as if they could leap off the table, run out of the frame, or—doing what dogs do best—doze off at any moment. You can find a copy at (via PetaPixel)





Simple Lines and Shapes Comprise the Lavish Yet Minimal Animal Drawings of Jochen Gerner

July 8, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jochen Gerner, shared with permission

Lines and basic shapes are the basis of Jochen Gerner’s distinct, almost paradoxical style that’s sometimes referred to as “abundant minimalism.” The French artist, who lives and works between Lorraine and Burgundy, draws birds and dogs that are sparse in form and yet rich in color and texture: checkered patterns overlaid with a chaotic array of markings create a shaggy fur coat, while variegated patches of feathers distinguish the tail from wing or breast.

In a note to Colossal, Gerner shares that he’s working primarily with vintage schoolbooks, a substrate that serves as much as a vessel for his drawings as it does a limitation on the work itself. He explains:

I like to work with simple shapes and lines. The simplest images are often the most effective and direct…The paper texture and format of the notebooks are important to me. The very graphic and varied lines allow me to integrate them by transparency in my drawings. It is a constraint from the start but it helps me to structure the forms and it is an integral part of the drawing.

If you’re in France, you can see Gerner’s works at La Métairie Bruyère in Parly, Anne Barrault Gallery in Paris, and Musée Buffon in Montbard. Otherwise, head to Instagram to explore more of his stylized characters. You also might like Albert Chamillard’s crosshatched geometries.





Vibrant Botanicals Spring from Cheerful Pups in Hiroki Takeda’s Playful Watercolors

July 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Hiroki Takeda, shared with permission

Sprouting flowers and botanical sprigs, the subjects of Hiroki Takeda’s watercolor works exude the boundless joy and energy we tend to associate with canine companionship. The vividly rendered pieces are part of the Japanese artist’s whimsical body of work that defines the contours of cats, birds, and inanimate objects with delicate plants and other natural elements. Prints and originals of Takeda’s blooming creatures are available from TRiCERA Art, and you can stay up to date with his latest pieces on Instagram.




Art Craft

Patchwork Coats with Frayed Fur Add Shaggy Texture to Barbara Franc’s Dog Sculptures

May 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

Left: “Scottish Deerhound,” 66 x 80 x 20 centimeters. Right: “The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters All images © Barbara Franc, shared with permission

Alongside an eccentric metallic menagerie, artist Barbara Franc stitches shaggy hounds with frayed fur and coats layered with assorted patches of prints. The fabric creatures are part of Franc’s collection of animals constructed with repurposed materials that range from buttons and vintage tapestries to windshield wipers and cutlery. To create these soft sculptures, she wraps scraps of worn trousers, curtains, and scarves around a padded, wire armature, defining a muscular hind leg with tweed or a stomach with an embroidered fairytale scene. The tattered edges mimic a tousled tail and the fringe sticking up from an ear, adding lifelike texture to the canines.

If you’re near Towersey, Oxfordshire, this August, Franc is offering a five-day workshop on crafting the textile forms at The Phoenix Studio. The West London-based artist will also have pieces this week at the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead Heath and with Rockwood Group at Bucks Art Weeks slated for June. You can find more of her upcycled characters on her site and Instagram.


Detail of “The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters

“The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters

“Entre le Chien et le Loup,” or “Twilight Hound,” 58 x 67 x 21 centimeters

“Shaggy Dog Tale”

Detail of “Shaggy Dog Tale”

“Entre le Chien et le Loup,” or “Twilight Hound,” 58 x 67 x 21 centimeters



Art Music

In ‘No Strings,’ Willie Cole Transforms Instruments into Abstract Animals and Figurative Sculptures

March 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Piano Bird” (2021), piano legs, keys, and wiring, 34 x 32 1/2 x 42 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse. All images courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York, shared with permission

Artist Willie Cole is known for transforming discarded materials into sculptures with a tenor of interrogation. Much of his three-dimensional work revolves around found objects like high-heels, plastic bottles, or ironing boards that he turns into pieces of cultural commentary, addressing issues of mass production, historical legacies, and identity. The items tend to guide the formation of his assemblages, he says, sharing that, “the objects that I use I see as them finding me, more so than me finding them… I see an object and suddenly I recognize what I can do with the object. So in that sense, there is an energy or spirit connection to the object. I am exploring the possibilities of these objects.”

Cole’s solo show No Strings, which opens this April at Alexander and Bonin in New York, exemplifies this approach. The artist, who’s currently living and working in New Jersey, recovered guitars, saxophones, and pianos from Yamaha’s recycling program and through his usual alchemy, has created anthropomorphic creatures and abstracted figures from their parts: he converts hammers into tail feathers and spliced acoustic bodies into dogs and anonymous musicians. The pieces are expressive and tied to the endurance of America’s past, particularly drawing a connection between the guitar’s shape and the yokes forced on people who were enslaved.

In addition to the upcoming No Strings show, you can see a few of Cole’s sculptures in the ongoing Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room at The Met, and explore more of his works on his site and Instagram.


“Yamaha Dog 1” (2021), Yamaha 3/4 size acoustic guitar parts, 23 1/2 x 12 x 29 inches. Photo by Joy Whalen

“Two-Faced Blues” (2021), Yamaha acoustic-electric guitar parts, 23 x 29 x 15 1/2 inches. Photo by Joy Whalen

“Yamaha Dog 2” (2021), Yamaha 3/4 size acoustic guitar parts, 18 5/8 x 11 x 27 inches. Photo by Joy Whalen

“Picker” (2022), Yamaha 3/4 size acoustic guitar parts, 27 x 15 x 15 inches. Photo by Joy Whalen

“Joy” (2021), Yamaha 3/4 size acoustic guitar parts, 44 1/2 x 22 x 7 1/2 inches. Photo by Joerg Lohse

“Strummer” (2022), Yamaha 3/4 size acoustic guitar parts, 28 x 16 1/2 x 15 inches. Photo by Joy Whalen



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