East coast 'Friends of the Danger Dogs' will be happy to hear of a new location on Mass Avenue near Porter Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The fabulous store Nomad will be featuring 31, count 'em 31, new Danger Dogs (and a few Cats).
Yuki the Shiba Inu is returning closer to his digs. Yuki lives in upstate New York and Sufraj's portrait certainly brings out Yuki's intense gaze. Sufraj Khadka is one of my best calligraphers as well. Unlike many signboard artists, Sufraj chose to become a painter rather than follow in his father's footsteps.
Suf is an ardent anti-smoking advocate. One thing that many Nepalese signboard artists have in common is an aversity to waste. So Sufraj cleans his brushes by painting anti-tobacco slogans on his studio walls.
What could be more appropriate for the Boston area than this portrait of Ike the Boston Terrier by Sagar. I once came back to reorder fresh Danger Dogs, when I saw this painting that Sagar did on spec, hoping that I would buy it. That is why there is no wording on this signboard as Sagar did not know whether to add 'Danger Dog' or 'Zen Dog' etc. Of course, I could not resist buying Ike. I like Ike.
Sagar teaches painting to Japanese art students visiting Kathmandu. That is where he learned to sign his name in Japanese Kanji. In the landlocked country of Nepal, Sagar's parents named him after the ocean and his signature translates as 'Ocean' in Japanese script.
Westie by Hari Prasad, synthetic enamel on metal, approx 12"x12" Available at Nomad.
I saw this adorable West Highland Terrier on my street and ran outside to photograph him. This portrait of the 'Unknown Westie' is by Hari Prasad of Kathmandu. Hari has been with the Danger Dog fair trade art project since the first trip and his work is among my favorites for its uban quality.
Hari Prasad and I first connected through a third party studio who basically brokered out the work and took a commission for his trouble. I now work directly with the artists and have cut out the middleman, who has moved on to another business in any case. I am still eternally grateful to Surya for his introducing me to what I consider to be among the finest signboard artists in Kathmandu.
Lucy the Tabby by Baba, synthetic enamel on metal, approx 12"x12" SOLD at Nomad.
Lucy the aggressively affectionate cat is by Baba, who self-proclaims that he is "the elephant of artists - all others are horses!" He is not really wrong, and when he paints on the sidewalk, he is sure to draw a crowd of on-lookers who marvel at his expertise and style.
Baba is the only artist with the Danger Dog project that is from India. He is from Tamil Nadu in Southern India. When the tsunami hit, Baba lost his wife, a child and his livelihood as a Bollywood movie graphic designer. Baba remembers when he had a crew of 40 artists working on Bollywood posters.
In the 1970's and 80's, Nepal, India, Burma and Thailand were filled with movie theatres with long canvas banners with scenes from the film, hand painted for each theatre. Baba painted these signs.
Charley the Elkhound is painted by Sanjib Rana using acrylic paint on new galvanized steel. Sanjib is the only artist I have worked with who is not a signboard painter per se. He came highly recommended by a long time Kathmanduer (or is that Kathmanduee?). Sanjib had painted murals on gates, dining areas and bathrooms in my friend's home. Sanjib had never painted on metal before he joined the Danger Dog project and his acryllic paintings cannot be mounted outside as they are not painted with the synthetic enamel that the other artists use.
Sanjib is not comfortable with calligraphy, so the added drama of the Zen Dog above was designed by Birju Chaudhury. The Nepali (Devengari) script reads 'Dharma Kukur' or religious dog.
Karma the Shitzu by Megh Raj Thapa, synthetic enamel on metal, approx 12"x12" SOLD at Nomad.
Karma the Shitzu truly looks Enlightened with her adoring gaze. Megh Raj Thapa is great with color and with the typical Nepali signboard flair, he combines color in a fresh and non-Western way. But the outcome is pleasing all the same.
Megh Raj has taught his only son, Onup, to run the business and bring it into the 21st Century. Onup knows his way around Photoshop and, with the help of a Nepali/English dictionary does the translations for some of my more esoteric customer's requests. ie: 'Don't be fooled' or 'Hussy'.
Giggles the Black Cat by Megh Raj, synthetic enamel on metal, approx 12"x12" sold at Nomad.
But Megh Raj can paint. Here is Megh Raj's portrait of Giggles the Tuxedo Cat. The golden glow fades to peach and spotlights Giggles' green eyes.
Yorkie by Amar Shrestha, synthetic enamel on recycled metal, approx 12"x12" Available at Nomad.
When I spoke before of odd requests for lettering, this one generated a lot of chuckles from the artists when I tried to find the Nepali equivalent with my less than stellar Nepali. How does one say 'Hussy' in the Nepalese Language?
This portrait of Shu Shu the Yorkshire Terrier by Amar is painted on recycled metal. If you look at the actual painting, you can see (and feel) the texture from the earlier signboard.
As you can see, every Danger Dog tells a story.
More of the Danger Dog treasures that you can find at Nomad in Cambridge will be featured in a later blog. Stay tuned.
To see the Dogs in person, here is their website: www.NomadCambridge.com Tell them Michelle sent you!
Your pet can be immortalized on metal by struggling Nepali signboard artists whose hand-painted work is being replaced by digital graphics. Find out how below.
Now is the time to order: Be ahead of the Pack! Orders accepted for the Summer 2012 trip.
HOW TO ORDER
To order, please send me a photo of your pet. I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of 3 paintings and three artists will get work. Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint. These can be hung indoors or out, be framed or unframed.
Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front. If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case. Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!
Send your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.
Let's keep these artists painting.
American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.
Hello from Dogmandu!
Please check out the Nepal Dog YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/NepalDog
You will be happy you did!