In his fearless quest to protect my brother and father on the farmstead, Bolle, the dog pictured above, has killed several snakes during his life. Unfortunately during his last fight with a vicious black mamba, he got bitten so badly, that unlike previous times, he did not survive the venom and died in September 2010. The loss of the dog was a very sad event for my brother, as he has raised Bolle from being a tiny puppy and the two were inseparable.
For my brother’s birthday this year, I have painted this portrait of Bolle from a photograph which I had taken some time ago. Through the artwork, at least the memory of this special dog can live on in a “physical” form.
Although I have painted many dogs, it was a personal challenge to paint the portrait of Bolle. This was not just any dog and it was meant as a gift to my brother – so it had to really look like him and hopefully also somehow catch his spirit and nature. I am happy, that somehow, while I painted, the trusted magic has happened once again and my brother was overjoyed with his gift. The painting was done on an aluminium printing sheet, which was used to print newspapers – that explains the text which shimmers through the background ;o)
Many people know me as “the artist who has painted the red dogs”, due to my firstpublic success with winning the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale with the “Bitumen Dogs” in 2001. I have often worked with images of dogs, usually as a metaphor for different human relationships, most notably for my “Power & Politics” series. I like painting and drawing dogs, they have interesting and versatile forms and shapes. And yes, I love dogs, but not more than other animals. And no, I do not have a dog myself. I am more a cat person. (Click on the links above if you like to view more dog artworks.)