Monday, July 9, 2007

Karin Jurick: Dogs Rule

The artist chooses a straightforward technique to communicate her love for animals: she brings the pet as close as possible to the viewer. Such proximity implies intimacy and companionship that reaches beyond the usual human and dog bond. The message that underlies these series of works is that we are all animals.

The depiction of the dog's hair remains convincing despite the avoidance of meticulous rendering, as it was performed, for instance, by Jan van Eyck, in the celebrated Arnolfini Portrait.

In fact, if you look closely, the Renaissance dog, though displaying a perfect hair, possesses eyes that are almost human in their expression. Furthermore, its posture may seem as rather unnatural. Comparing from a purely technical perspective, the modern descendant sheds the rigidity and pedantry that could be the flaw of the earlier period.

In front of us is a lively animal, with a characteristically elusive gaze and an obviously friendly demeanor. It is just about to be petted; or just was. There is a sensation of a fleeting moment: as we meet out neighbor, who walks his dog, we partake in small talk and an even smaller one with the pet. Often, it is difficult to determine which one is more memorable -- but perhaps less so for a dedicated dog lover.

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