David’s Black Dog series is perhaps the most iconic and highly collected of all of his series. Although these works are highly sort after, they are few and far between, and it’s with good reason once you understand the process behind their creation. The iconic black dog that you see in many of David’s works depicts Bogart, his childhood pet. Bogart was a true companion and close friend to David throughout his youth – smart, watchful, protective and ever present, Bogart lives on as the feature character of this sensational series.
Interestingly, David’s Black Dog paintings were inspired by left over and cast off paint from his easel and palette. At the end of each day of painting, David often found he was left with extra paint on his pallet and, not wanting to throw it away, he began scraping it onto spare canvas. This process evolved over six to eight months until the canvas was so thick with cast off paint that the frame it was stretched on could barely support itself. At this stage, David would begin work on balancing the piece with paints straight from the tube. Once satisfied with the composition and colour, he would draw on the technique of one of his heroes and mentors, Jackson Pollock; bringing the work to life by embellishing the artwork using enamel. In the final stages after drying, several small black dogs would be cleverly and randomly scattered amongst the folds and drizzles of paint. This allowed the viewer to become actively involved in their visual experience as they searched for each dog. David’s Black Dog paintings are intentionally random, expressive, and purposeful. The Black Dog concept has become hugely successful with collectors, however, due to their thick oil paint and lengthy creation process, there are generally only 4 to 6 of these pieces available per year.
Image Size: 75 x 100cm (30 x 40″)
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