Collected at an East Coast animal shelter at the beginning of summer, the dog has become the mascot of social networks. The unlikely painter is already at more than 140 paintings.
The work has dog. The brushstrokes are quite simple and consist of some bright yellow and Provençal spots on a blue night. This small format is the work of Van Gogh, a happy American dog, a mongrel who has lost an ear. The animal started drawing a few pictures last year. Unnoticed at first, the canvases of this new Van Gogh have become an online sensation after the broadcast of several viral videos on the social network TikTok.
The animal didn’t suddenly start painting, of course. The seven-year-old dog, who was picked up from a Bethel, Connecticut animal shelter in June, was in a deplorable condition. He had been badly injured and then abandoned, probably after a dog fight. With his ear amputated and dying, he hardly attracted any customers. At least until the shelter decided to play with the name they gave the dog. And let it paint. An activity that he enjoyed.
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“It’s a fulfillment and a pleasure for him. He loves doing it,” assured Foxnews Jaclyn Gartner, director of the Happily Furever After Rescue sanctuary that Van Gogh collected. Since it’s not easy to teach a dog to hold a paintbrush or to trace a painted figure, its human caretakers have resorted to a little trick. Impasto canvas and paint are placed in a flat plastic bag on which the little gourmet’s favorite dishes are scattered: liver pâté, pumpkin puree or peanut butter. Attracted to the party, Van Gogh licks his entire “plate” and in doing so spreads the color on the fabric.
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A first exhibition was set up in October with the idea of selling some of the dog’s “works” to benefit the shelter. The event turns out to be a fiasco with only two visitors, but it arouses the curiosity of the American media NowThis, which shares the story of Van Gogh and his ten small paintings on their social networks.
Since then, sales have been good. In November, twelve paintings are sold online for a total of $1,900; In December, the shelter opens for orders and in a few days receives 100 requests “from New York to New Zealand”. The artist struggles to keep up. “We only paint 5-7 pictures a week so be patient,” staff at Happily Furever After Rescue warn on Facebook. After weeks of being snubbed, Van Gogh didn’t wait for this belated recognition to find a foster family. He was adopted this summer. The dog, not the painter.