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Out walking, I’m often distracted by dogs. At the very least, I smile. Other times, I stop to talk and sneak a caress, sometimes completely ignoring the biped at the other end of the leash. It’s the same in museums or art galleries. Whenever I see artwork featuring a dog, I simply have to stop and take a second look. It hardly seems like a connoisseur’s approach, and yet, these dogs they draw me in, invite closer consideration of a painting, drawing or sculpture and where’s the harm in that?
An entire exhibition built around the canine subject is a particular delight. And I’m thinking that because all the images feature dogs, it’s easier to appreciate the works, in a way. No one of them has the special advantage of featuring an irresistible species. With all the artists representing essentially the same subject, the differences in media, technique, tone and vision really pop. You’re looking at dogs sure, but you’re also grooving on the art. What more could you want?
In “Gone to the Dogs” at Denise Bibro Fine Art  in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, dog lovers will see funny, serious, moving and thought-provoking representations of our best friends in pen and ink, photography, oils, mixed media, video, sculpture and more by 22 artists and three painting pooches.
Plus, the show does good by its muse. A portion of sales proceeds will benefit Animal Haven , a nonprofit organization that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the tri-state area, and provides behavior intervention when needed to improve chances of adoption.
Gone to the Dogs opens tonight and runs through Nov. 7 at Denise Bibro Fine Art , 529 West 20th Street 4W, NYC.
Artists in Gone to the Dogs include: David Barnett, Sophie Blackall, Dusty Boynton, Boyce Cummings, Peter Drake, Katherine Fraser, Eric Ginsburg, Lauren Grabelle, Catherine Hnatov, Serge Hollerbach, Brooke Jacobs, Michel Keck, Susan Kuhlman, Damon Lehrer, Laelia Mitchell, Jane O’Hara, Amy Ross, Nancy Schutt, Raychael Stine, Jenny Toth, Tim Vermeulen, Douglas Wirls and Susan Woolf; plus canine artists Sammy the Doggie DaVinci, Tillamook Cheddar and Ziggy the Painting Pekingese.