Why this painting of dogs playing poker has endured for over 100 years

Jackson Arn in Artsy:

The “Dogs Playing Poker” paintings, by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, belong to that pantheon of artworks—Michelangelo’s David, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Hopper’s Nighthawks— that are immediately recognizable to people of all ages and backgrounds, including those who don’t readily admit to enjoying art.

So how, pray tell, did a pack of dogs playing poker outlast so many other “serious” paintings?

Burninator: Kinetic Sculpture Never Looked So Hot

This is what I get for not following

Gizmodo faithfully: flaming industrial art.

They introduced it saying “Do you enjoy fire? Do you also enjoy very intricate Rube Goldberg machines? Of course you do.” Though a reader there exclaims:

It didn’t do anything. For it to be a true Rube Goldberg doesn’t it have to accomplish some task, like cracking an egg or pouring a glass of milk or something? Neat to watch, but make it do something!

Something, presumably, other than just fascinate the pyros. …Which is what brings us to the dump truck smashup video:

Not that the dump truck actually accomplishes anything either, just that it looks cool.

(Note: the real connection here is that Cliffy introduced that video with “Everyone loves the idea of smashing fast-moving things into hard objects,” but got quickly shot down by somebody saying only guys like crashes, flames, and explosions.)

Art vs. The Google Economy

In an anomaly that we would eventually recognize as commonplace on the internet, Touching the Void, a book that had gone out of print, remaindered before it hit paperback, was all but forgotten, started selling again in 1998. Chris Anderson wondered why, and found that user reviews in Amazon’s listing of publishing sensation Into Thin […] » about 1200 words

Cheap and Broken

Above, one of Sandge‘s contributions to the The Toy Cameras Pool reminds us that good photography is something that often happens despite the equipment, not because of it. Of course, no sweeping generalization can go without argument, and in this case I think the toy camera enthusiasts would be joined by the glitch art aficionados, […] » about 100 words

Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books

It seems common among contemporary artists that a web search might turn up a few pictures of their works, but not much about them or their works. In this case it’s Nina Katchadourian and the work I’m interested in is her Sorted Books Project. A video interview from the University of Colorado and does […] » about 200 words

The Crucible

Who wouldn’t like to play with The Crucible‘s “fire truck”? What’s “The Crucible”? [it’s] an arts education center that fosters a collaboration of arts, industry and community. Through training in the fine and industrial arts, The Crucible promotes creative expression, reuse of materials and innovative design while serving as an accessible arts venue for the […] » about 100 words

Atlanta Art Scene, Spring 2006

<a href=",+Atlanta,+GA&ll=33.78967,-84.384742&spn=0.019759,0.053773">Atlanta</a> was a bit of a lark. I hadn't seen my friends for a while, and they were telling me that <a href="">the weather was beautiful</a>. So why not go? Once there we did a marathon tour of museums and galleries, scoping out works by <a href="" title="High : Experience - Exhibitions">Chuck Close</a>, <a href="" title="Roger Ballen Photographer">Roger Ballen</a>, and <a href="" title="Saltworks">Iona Rozeal Brown</a>. » about 300 words

Troy Bennett at “Ben Show”

Ben Apfelbaum died before having the chance to see it all come together, but his quirky idea seems to be a hit. Here’s how Jerry Cullum described it for the Atlanta Journal Constitution: “The Ben Show” was the brainchild of beloved Spruill Gallery director Ben Apfelbaum, who asked one day, “What’s in a name?” and […] » about 200 words

As The Useful Becomes Useless, It Becomes Art

The story here isn’t about why I’m on the Kate Spade mailing list. The story is about their new line of “paper.” It’s stationary, of course. The kind of formal paper people use to send out wedding invites and thank yous and whatever other little missives that email or AIM seem too uncouth for. I […] » about 300 words


I wasn’t just surprised to find a gallery of velvet paintings, I was further surprised to learn they were hosting a show of Valentines velvet works by local artist Juanita and had cards advertising a show of LA artist Arnold Pander’s oil on velvet works at the local Vault Martini Lounge. But the fact is, […] » about 600 words

Sprayfoam Art In Millersburg

What you can’t tell about the photo above is that the eagle is huge, and made of spray foam. It stands at Sprayfoam Inc., just off the I5 at Millersburg. Don’t miss the cornucopia-like sign, or the completely enfoamed Sprayfoam-mobile. art, foam, sprayfoam, sprayfoam inc., spray foam, millersburg, oregon, millersburg or, sculpture, eagle » about 100 words

Library 2.0?

Rochelle worries that all this Library 2.0 talk is lost on her library. Ross tells us why he hates the Library 2.0 meme and Dan reminds us it’s not about buzzwords. But Michael is getting closest to a point that’s been troubling me for a while: Library 2.0 isn’t about software, it’s about libraries. It’s […] » about 300 words

Atlanta Scene

My friend Troy keeps a studio at Saltworks, a combined gallery and studio space in Atlanta where Prema Murthy just opened her deStructures show. I was in Atlanta to see Troy and family, so the opening was added sugar, and quite a pleasure. The image above comes from Troy’s Above and Below series. tags: above, […] » about 100 words