Many artists use the dog's jewelry (collars, leashes, earrings - just kidding) in very interesting ways. Danger Dog Jewelry is the subject of today's blog.
Sagar incorporated his signature chop onto Sophie's dogtag. The loving attention paid to her collar and the color wheel behind her are typical of Sagar's humor and composition.
This painting is from the second Danger Dog trip in Oct/Nov 2007. I can't believe I still have this one. Look at the cynical wisdom in that dog's eyes. The grey is baked on outside the circle. The Nepali script here is 'Kukor dehi sabadan' meaning 'dog here be aware.' The verb is at the end of the sentence in the Nepali language.
The beautiful Bella. This black labrador painting was from a black and white photo. All color in the lips, the collar and the background are pure Sagar. This is a rare one that he did not sign. Surya signs everything out of his studio but has 4 or 5 artists that I work with. He is a good judge of artistic talent. Sabala, Hari Prasad, Chandra, Shantos, and Sagar all come out of his shop. Birju worked with him for 8 years before striking out on his own.
Am I the only one who thinks this background looks apocalyptic? Grace the Pitbull couldn't be in a more striking backdrop. This one has it all - jewelry and signature chop, and is a less thuggish look than earlier dogs.
This, like Grace above, is from the 4th Danger Dog trip in Oct/Nov 2008. Fern the Jack Russell is serene on her plush red blanket. The whiskers around her muzzle and the kind of eyes that follow you wherever you may be in the room are particularly fine. The phrase 'Be Careful' is translated in the Nepali script as sabadan (be aware)! The area behind Fern's head is a mix of reds, greens, yellows and makes a pleasing contract to her coat. Sagar can paint!
This is on very heavy recycled metal with Nepali writing on the back. Sagar is getting bold with the placement of his signature smack dab in the middle of Louie's blue blanket. Notice the impressionistic rear paws. The Nepali script reads: 'Dharma kukor' ('religious dog' in Nepali). The artists have stopped rolling their eyes at that request. This is one of the rare cases where 'Enlightened Dog' is spelled right.
This is Garby, a French Bulldog in Sagar's cynical series from the 2nd Danger Dog trip. He looks like he should be playing poker in the back room with Jack Nicholson.
I took this photo of a very old chihuahua. I like a snaggle tooth and this dog had one and Sagar painted it yellow. I never got the dog's name, but if a strange (very tall) lady comes up to you and asks to photograph your dog, let me! Someday your dog may be a star of the Danger Dog Blog. Sagar's hand and jewelry here are up to his usual standard. The eyes have it.
Sometimes I come back to Kathmandu and stop at Surya's and he will show me some signboards that the artists made - would I like to buy them? This is one of those, by Sagar. Mocha the Chocolate Labrador's owner had chosen months before her Danger Dog portrait. But who could resist this painting? The Nepali script simply says 'Kukor' (dog).
Again Sagar's chop prominently displayed on Louis the White Lab's dogtag.
All of these paintings today are by Sagar (above). He's about 45 or 46, has a wide smile, and wide talent to go with it. His was the blackest and oldest painting of Barack in my folk art Obama series. The large photo to Sagar's right is a younger Surya when he was acting in movies. He teaches art to the Japanese in Patan. They are the ones that taught him how to sign in Japanese kanji. Sagar means ocean in the Nepali language and his chop reads 'ocean' in Japanese. You can find out more about the Obama series at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (smmoa.org).
I will be going back to Nepal in mid-October (in time for kukor puja) and need some orders to keep Sagar and other artists like him working on these hand painted signboards. In case you are new, these are painted on metal, about a foot square, using synthetic enamel. These will get a fine patina if left outside for years.
Questions? Contact me at email@example.com, or see more at my website: NepalDog.com