“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”
Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years. No animal lover can fail to cherish this versatile and endearing animal, combining strength, personality, intelligence, and a willing nature.
Everyone who has a dog will tell you that every dog is unique. They have personalities, likes, dislikes, habits, and quirks that make each one extraordinary. The confident dog is a natural born leader of the pack, independent, and sometimes standoffish; the laid back, happy dog is always ready to greet everyone he meets, whether he knows them or not; the shy, timid dog needs an owner who can give him calm, consistent and patient understanding. People love dogs, and I am no exception, but I have taken it a step further and decided to re-interpret their characters in a fresh, new way.
For this exhibition, I have transformed an ordinary deck of playing cards into a small set of treasure that will refresh and amuse you. My House of Cards is made of a multibreed cast of canine characters depicted as kings, queens, jacks and aces, all drawn with wit and good humor.
Each card is a stand-alone character with its own personality, some of them have clear resemblance to the great rulers of the past. These humorous pencil drawings feature royal-looking dogs who might look dramatic, adventurous, shy, narcissistic, pompous, aloof, comical, vain, but definitely lovable. The playful designs will make you wonder what life is like for an old and wise Neapolitan Mastiff with the philosophical look on his face, who spends his days contemplating life; a heroic black and white Boston Terrier, full of pride, posing as King of Spades; a curious and friendly Labrador pup, who wants to play; a love-struck Basset Hound in a tiara, chosen to be Queen of Spades; a lazy and sulky Pug, King of Diamonds; a little Italian Greyhound, adorned with jewels and wearing the Royal Crown; a fearsome French Bulldog with Napoleonic look on his face; a super-confident Bullterrier, who looks like villainous Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire; etc.
Using just colour pencils and sheets of wood, I have tried to create an exquisite set of visual delight, which, I hope, will put a smile on your face. Whether you’re playing poker, solitaire, doing a magic trick, or whatever other fun activities you do with playing cards, you can now do it all with the dogs looking back at you.
Welcome to my House of Cards, but note this warning – normal playing cards may never seem cool again.
— Anna Dudchenko
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Anna Dudchenko is an internationally renowned artist living and working in the Sultanate since 1999. With her Western background that includes Masters in Fine Arts, Art History, and English Linguistics, she has become one of the most active figures in the Omani art scene. As an artist, Dudchenko has organised twelve solo exhibitions, participated in numerous group shows, international art fairs, and charity events, illustrated books, and worked on different projects and special commissions for private companies as well as the governmental organizations. In 2013 and 2014, Dudchenko was shortlisted for Strabag International Art Award in Vienna, Austria. She has been a contributing writer for Muscat Daily, Art Radar Asia, and Art Asia Pacific. Occasionally, she works as a curator and art consultant for different galleries as well as private companies. To know more about her work, you can visit her website www.annadudchenko.com.