What does one do when, while out for a stroll with your dog, you encounter a giant steel sculpture in the silhouette of a Retriever at attention? Well, for this girl it's a no-brainer - you (poorly) stack your beast right in front of said sculpture and snap a photo... Oscar is looking dreadfully wilted in the heat, but he still attracted a small crowd, which fanned out behind me with their camera phones to take the same picture I was. Ha.
The massive metal sidewalk dog is the work of Haverhill sculptor Dale Rogers (from his "American Dog" series) and it marked the entrance to the Lanoue Fine Art Gallery, at 125 Newbury St. Coincidentally, on one of Oscar's very rare strolls through Boston, the Lanoue was filled with artworks... wait for it... celebrating DOGS! The exhibit, titled "Best in Show", included a spectrum of contemporary artists, including work from current dog-photog darling, Seth Casteel (of "Underwater Dogs" fame), and the grand master of clever canine portraiture himself, William Wegman.
Below, clockwise: "Youngster", by William Wegman; Oscar hide+seeking behind a smaller version of Dale Rogers' "American Dog"; "The Fly", by William Wegman; and Oscar next to Emil Alzamora's "Flying Lessons".
Wegman has been a favorite of mine forever and a day, and it was a treat to see some prints in person. It was also an inspiration... but rather than do a 1 for 1 homage using my camera, I decided to keep to the illustrated theme on this blog and ink a portrait, pulled from a Wegman-esque world. If we're dressing up the dogs, there's probably no better kind of human for Oscar to test-drive for a day than a baker... so onto the body of Julia Child his great block-head went! (Observation: when you're mix-matching dog's heads and people-bodies - kind of like when you're doing the same with hair styles - aligning gender across species becomes moot... The Beast rocks a pink button-down, right?!)
Below: the cover of an exhibition catalogue from a comprehensive 2012 show of Wegman's photos, drawings and paintings, held at Bowdoin College, titled "Hello Nature"; a Wegman Dog Chef; and Oscar, cooking up a storm like a pro (in fantasy-land, I'd let him eat it all too!).
Of course any post that alludes to dogs testing their baking chops in the kitchen really wouldn't be complete without including this classic clip from Sesame Street, which follows a pair of Wegman hounds through an adventure in bread-baking... Stay hungry, stay happy, friends...