Southern Dogs (1963) - Poster (24" x 20)"
Southern Dogs (1963) - Digital Archival Print
Southern Dogs (1963) - Poster (30" x 25)"

Southern Dogs

1963. 52" x 42". Oil on Primed Linen.

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In his biography, Robert Cenedella reflects on his painting titled Southern Dogs (1963):
"I was disturbed and preoccupied with images I had seen of police beating African Americans in broad daylight. I was preoccupied with the thought that authority was being blatantly misused, yet at the same time being supported by U.S. governors, senators, congressmen, and a large segment of Americans.

I was in my twenties, and I kept asking myself over and over, ‘How can human beings, God’s greatest creatures, be involved in such an intolerable display of hatred? How can they use such brutal force?'

In making such a painting, which I entitled Southern Dogs, I dealt with my rage in that I knew somehow I had addressed the real issues that disturbed me: police, dogs, violence, and justice, all at the same time. If I could make the public laugh at such a heinous incident, it would shame them for laughing.

That’s what I mean about humor as a weapon. If I could create an image that went below the surface, that got to the real issue, a blunt truth that hurt at the same time, I would have used my art to its fullest extent. Photography is faster and more expedient, but art can reach beyond it."

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