Faux Art NewsÂ visited Wingnut the Art Dog’s studio in California to get some background information on this famous but enigmatic painting dog.
We interviewed the studio cat who able to interpret Wingnut’s native Arfin/ Ruffin language. With some sensitive meowing, ear movements, urine markings and tail vibrations here is what we were able to glean.
Wingnut was born on a ranch in remote northern California one of a litter of eight. BeingÂ the sensitive one, he puzzled at the rough and tumble antics of his litter-mates as they vied for dominance in the pack. His artistic leanings showed themselves early as he would horde old soup bones to use in making interesting designs.Â His doggy bed was always arranged neatlyÂ to suit his aestheticÂ sensibility with color coordination his foremost concern.
Later as Wingnut was studied by veterinary scientists at the University of California, Davis he became famous for their findings that dogs really are not color blind. He would join the ranks of such heavy weight dog subjects as Pavlov’s Dog and that other Soviet dog that got shot into space. Also in this category by virtue of its diet is the late chihuahua from the Taco BellÂ commercials, may he rest in peace. They say it was something in the sour cream.
One by one his brothers and sisters left to work on neighboring farms and ranches until one day he found himself alone and wondering what life had in store for him. Early one morning “Big Man Rancher” came to his pen and snatched him up in his big burly arms and tossed him into the big noise machine he called a pickup. Off they went bouncing down man paths until they came to the main one with a yellow strip down the middle. Here there were many many noise machines whizzing back and forth.
Finally Rancher man made his noise machine lurch out onto yellow line pathÂ toward the cluster of giant dog houses he called town. The trip turned dark when he was let out of the pickup at a concrete block bunker that barked with the voice of a hundred dogs. ANIMAL CONTROL DEPOSIT DOGS HERE. If Wingnut could have read “man” words he would have been afraid, very afraid.
Forlorn and alone Wingnut spent many a day and night among the howling crowd down at the dog pound, he was the very definition of hang dog. As had happened with his litter mates,Â one by one his cage-mates left him but not to work they went to the bad room and never came back.
Finally one day a man with a kindly face came and picked him up, held him in his arms. Wingnut licked him on the face. That lick turned out to be the luckiest lick he ever made. Kindly man laughed and scratched him behind the ears and swooped him out the door and into an old faded noise machine. Kindly man was Argus T Huespredder a local artist who took him home to be his friend.
The rest is history. Wingnut rose through the ranks of artistÂ animals, surpassing in fame the chain-saw sculptor monkey, the abstract expressionist elephant, and a whole cadre of canine painters even Thomas Kincaide’s Painting Poodle of Light. Eclipsing even his master, Old Gus, Wingnut reached his apogee when he became the subject of the Wingnut Art Dog Cartoon.