The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : 24 Foot Tall Black Dog Sculpture Gets Attention on Museum Wall The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : 24 Foot Tall Black Dog Sculpture Gets Attention on Museum Wall

Saturday, February 23, 2013

24 Foot Tall Black Dog Sculpture Gets Attention on Museum Wall

Newport Beach, CA -There it is a big black dog sculpture that stands 24 feet tall!

The dog stands right by the side wall of the Orange County Museum of Art building in Newport Beach, one leg lifted, squirting yellow paint on the salmon-colored wall.

"Bad Dog." That's what Sierra Madre artist Richard Jackson calls his latest creation. You see it as you drive down San Clemente Drive, smack dab in the middle of tall office buildings, a stone's throw from Fashion Island.

The dog is part of Jackson's exhibit titled "Ain't Painting a Pain," set to premiere Sunday.
"Bad Dog" is getting nothing but positive comments from onlookers, said museum spokeswoman Kirsten Schmidt. She said the museum has also received several emails about the giant pooch.

"We got one from an Australian website asking if it was a hoax or some type of joke," she said.

Some said the museum should have made the dog ... well ... not as anatomically perfect. But most of the responses, Schmidt said, expressed amusement.

Jackson said that was his goal with "Bad Dog."

"My intention is never to shock or offend anyone or any particular group," he said. "People's reaction to 'Bad Dog' or any art for that matter tends to vary. Sometimes, it depends on whether you're going home from church or from a strip club."

Jackson said he crafted the dog from fiberglass and other composite materials with the help of an engineering company in Santa Ana. It consists of 52 digitally-cut-out pieces that were assembled on site.

Once the shell was placed, Jackson climbed into the dog with a big bucket of yellow paint, which he squirted on to the wall. Now there’s a pump that could continuously shoot out the paint, Jackson said.

"The way I see it, it's funny," he said. "I understand that Newport Beach has traditionally been a conservative community. But this is an art museum. This piece of art is making a commentary or statement."

The dog is what Jackson calls a "painting machine," a mechanism that helps create works of art. He has at least a half-dozen other painting machines as part of the exhibit, including a herd of deer statues that shoot out paintballs.

One of his exhibits, called "Art by Accident," was created when he flew a model Cessna remote-control airplane filled with paint into the museum and crashed it against a wall. The wall is smeared with red paint, and the plane lies on the floor, broken and oozing red paint.

An exhibit that took Jackson five years to put together was a room with 1,000 clocks, synchronized to perfection. Jackson said he made 40,000 clock parts himself. The clocks click in unison every time the minute needles move.

Schmidt says "Bad Dog" is only a preview of what the public can expect to see inside the museum.

"It's about expecting the unexpected," she said.

"Bad Dog" won't be a permanent feature, Schmidt said. It will be taken down after the exhibit concludes May 5.

On Friday at lunchtime, some people stopped by to check out the dog although the museum was closed.

Tom Akashi of Fountain Valley said he drove into the parking lot to take a peek at the giant sculpture.

"I think it's wonderful," Akashi said. "It's making a comment that art doesn't need to be put on a pedestal. A lot of art lacks humor. This one, I find funny. I think a lot of people are going to enjoy it."