In the late 19th century, Oscar Wilde was a passionate proponent of Aesthetics, a movement that emphasized aesthetic values over socio-political themes in literature, fine art, and music. In 1887 Wilde established himself as an art critic by reviewing an exhibition of London's anti-establishment Grosvenor Gallery. He and the devotees of the gallery, whose interiors were green and yellow, dressed in those colors. And the similarly clad sunflower became the perfect accessory.
"The unconventional Aesthetes were lampooned in Punch magazine and satirized in the 1881 Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Patience, which included the following lines:
A pallid and thin young man,
A haggard and lank young man,
A greenery-yallery, Grosvenor Gallery,
Foot-in-the-grave young man!
The success of Patience in England inspired Wilde's overseas
tour and launched him as a celebrity, but its stereotypical characters
caricatured the sexuality of Aesthetic leaders. So some of the fans who
wore sunflowers to Wilde's lectures surely wore them as the 19th-century
equivalent of the gay-pride rainbow flag.
The modern connotation of the
word gay may stem from the fact that it was an acronym for Green And
Yellow. Greenery-yallery." (Read the full article.)
In honor of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing arguments for federal recognition of same-sex marriage this week, I've selected some dogs and sunflowers.
Aesthetic Garland Stove Oscar Wild Trade Card with Pug, 1882 via ebay
Sunflower and Dog Worship by Stanley Spencer, 1937
One of the paintings the magazine chose to represent Clair's work is the Darby painting she sent me after I wrote about his death.
We both consider this painting a breakthrough, artistically for her (she felt the painting painted itself), emotionally for me (it was cathartic to see Darby again in a different light, and it enabled me to say "yes" to my new dog, Tyler). So we were both pleased -- I used the term "freaking out" -- when the Modern Dog editors shared Darby with their readers.
I was curious how the profile came about.
Moira McLaughlin:Did you submit your work to Modern Dog Magazine?
Clair Hartmann: No, they approached me. I'm not sure how they found me. I'm thinking being on Dog Art Today might have had something to do with it.
MM:Who selected the paintings?
CH: They asked me for specific paintings, and I was thrilled when they chose Darby.
MM:How was the interview conducted?
CH: It was a written Q + A, which I like best because it gives you time to think, and you don't sound like such a boob when it's published...hopefully.
MM:What has been the response to the article compared with other press you've received?
CH: I've gotten a few inquiries and one commission, which surprised me because thought I would get more. I look at press as a whole. The more you have written about you, the more known you are. It's all connected and it leads to other things like shows and other media. I do believe it started with Dog Art Today's blog post about my Downtown Dog Project. That's when my work started reaching other people outside of my "zone," which ultimately means more sales and commissions.
MM:Thank you, Clair, for bringing Darby's sweet face back to me in new and surprising ways. And thank you for your continued support of Dog Art Today. I think your new ad is fantastic (see right sidebar).
If you would like to get noticed on Dog Art Today, please visit my Advertisd Here page.
I really do not like what has happened to the word "creative’." As with many words, this word has been overused in such a huge variety of mostly bad commercial ways, that it no longer has the true meaning it once had as a word. I haven’t yet found a word to replace it. The old meaning – to me – meant making things out of nothing, and out of anything. Making things that come from a person’s imagination, past, present, future – and attempting to not be influenced by other people’s ways of thinking, being, imagining. It is a hands-on search for self. - Anna Dibble
Modern Dog Design Co., the Seattle-based, internationally acclaimed design studio is accepting submissions for 1000 Dog Portraits, a full-color, 320-page book slated for publication in the spring of 2014. Sections will include every breed, including mutts and oddballs, with an special introductory emphasis on Beagles. All mediums are accepted including pen and ink, watercolor, oil, charcoal, digital, mixed media or collage.
Rockport Publishers, a company that specializes in books for design professionals, is sponsoring the contest and will publish the book.
Click here to submit your dog portraits. Submission deadline: April 1, 2013, 10pm EST.
Hat tip to Patti Haskins (whose dog portrait graces the contest's Facebook page) and Rachel Petrovich for letting me know about this contest brought to you by "true dog lovers and people who love art, design and kick-ass illustration."