I'm excited to add my latest collage to the gallery tonight. Not only do I really love this piece, both the final product and the themes and images it conveys, but I am also thrilled to offer it as my first Limited Edition print. I am going to offer a series of 100 and to celebrate am presently offering them for the sale price of $55. The sale will end in the next couple of weeks and after that the price for a matted 16 x 20 print in a clear plastic sleeve will go back up to $75.
I am thrilled that my friend, Jon Katz, author of Dancing Dogs, purchased one of the artist proofs the other day. His wife, Maria Wulf, wrote about the piece on her blog today. I actually used two of Jon's dogs in the piece. His border collie, Red, is in the middle right of the collage, wearing a brown hat and dancing with the pug in the pink tutu. His deceased border collie, Izzy, is sticking his head out of the left-hand side of the carousel. I actually added Izzy after Jon saw an early draft of the collage and said he wanted to buy it. I decided to include Izzy as an added treat, although Red had already made his debut.
Although I use a combination of techniques from photography to hand-drawing to digital drawing to create my collages, this is the first time I so prominently mixed hand-drawn figures in with photographed ones. You can see the hand-drawn couple at the right of the image. I actually originally drew them as part of a series I was doing on the seven-deadly sins. The two pugs were supposed to be fighting and represent wrath, but when I finished them, I realized they looked like they were dancing and transformed them into partying pugs celebrating New Year's Eve for a New Year's post.
When I realized I was creating a collage of dancing dogs I decided to resurrect this couple and add them to this piece. The idea for the overall collage came from the iconic photograph of an American sailor kissing a woman in New York City. I knew I had the photos of the poodle and the Akita that take center stage and I thought they along with the carousel in the background conjured the same sense of romance and nostalgia that I see in Alfred Eisenstaedt's photograph. The rest of the dogs appeared on stage to dance, frolic and round out the scene. I love the idea of dogs dancing and it is a happy coincidence that Jon wrote a book by the same name. I think the image of dancing dogs reflects the happy-go-lucky nature of our canine friends. Although we love our dogs and share our lives with them, they are often at our feet or at the end of our leashes, yet, here they are free to celebrate and do their own thing unencumbered by a human hand. Here, the humans blend in to the background.
I love the lumbering Newfie to the right of the image. In reality, this photograph was of a large Newfoundland I met in our local dog park who was rolling in the dirt. By turning him on end, he is dancing. This piece is fun to me, but also tender and touching. Perhaps it is because we know the dance will eventually end, but maybe not. Here, it goes on forever.
Again, this collage is available on sale in the gallery and will be limited to 100 prints in addition to the few artist proofs already in existence. If you have any questions about my process or the piece feel free to inquire through the contact form on the blog or in the comments of this post.