Don’t Beg, Good Boy

dont-beg-good-boy

André V. Katkov

Don’t Beg, Good Boy, 2016

Digital

2125 × 2750 px

During the more tumultuous periods of his life, Katkov was known to cast aside all social and academic expectations in order to pursue one of his artistic passions: portraits of animals in poorly rendered human clothing. Here we see what is believed to be his first attempt at this old habit after his move from California to Rhode Island. The pug, an animal Katkov once referred to as a “puke-worthy devolution of the canine collective,” is the subject of this particular portrait. A few historians have pointed out that, in spite of such comments from the artist, the pug managed to become a reoccurring symbol of the casual grotesquery of paradoxically adorable subjects in Katkov’s larger visual mythos. Notable to this portrait are the interlinking line-work used to create the illusion of texture on the coat. Here we see Katkov’s handiwork, typically shabby and unnoteworthy, even sloppier and more inarticulate than is usual in his digital canon. Also interesting is the inversion of his use of colors, white lines on a black surface. It seems indicative of his interest in emphasizing the purity of thought only acquired in the darkness of the shadow-self the artist allegedly believed we all possess. That, or he’d run out of ideas and was desperate to make a rather routine concept stand as something more than the lackluster thing it is.

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