Beau: Model & Avatar

“…the first metaphor was animal.”  John Berger, "Why Look at Animals?"

These drawings focus on my basset hound Beau, who I adopted from a shelter to honor the first-year anniversary of my sister's death. Many years later, I began this series. 
While I have always featured accessible imagery in my work, the images are also multilayered. Historically, artists have used women as models and muses and my work with Beau, now twelve years old, is a natural extension and inversion of that tradition. Culturally, we live in pet-obsessed times, as any casual look at the internet can attest. Personally, our animal companions are avatars for our emotional and psychological projections, while always remaining "other". These tensions drive the series.
​Based on my numerous photographs of Beau (always candid, never posed), the work is rooted in observation and sensory knowledge. Contrasting clarity and dissolution, I seek to trace the tenuous relationship between presence and absence, love and mortality.