If you don’t like Arthur Sarnoff’s Dog paintings, you must have a heart of ruddy stone, that’s all I can say. He painted dogs dressed in human clothes doing all sorts of things, playing pool, playing poker, playing golf… All sorts of things. He even painted some of the dogs smoking and drinking whilst they were playing. I don’t really hold with that. It’s not clever, encouraging dogs to smoke, ICI tried it with beagles at that factory in Macclesfield, and nobody was impressed with that. Any Road, Arthur Sarnoff also used to do glamour pictures dolly birds, and clowns for some reason. When he was an old man, (and should have known better) he even did a picture of some clowns playing with a dog for the cover of a punk rock LP by the bumhole surfers.He actually copied the idea for dogs playing games off another American Artist, who had done a painting called “Kelly Pool” in 1904, after having done a calendar full of dogs playing poker. But Sarnoff’s pictures are the most famous, and posters of his work change hands on the internet today for amounts upwards of £4.95. Mind you, they say £4.95, and then they ruddy sting you for postage and packing.My Hairy Mary wasn’t any good at playing pool. I took her down the snooker club at the Institute one week. My Raymond was practicing. He had been watching that Pot Black on television and thought that he was ruddy Ray Davies or somebody. Any road, he told me to take her home. He said that she was putting him off because she kept sniffing at his balls.
I did try prodding her with a cue, just to see if I could get an interest up, but she just sort of shrivelled up into herself. She didn’t take too kindly to being prodded with anything didn’t my Hairy Mary, let alone a ruddy great snooker stick.
I always think it’s a bit off actually, when people make Jack the Ripper references in popular art. I said it about that Screaming Lord Sutch, and I’ll say it again about Arthur Sarnoff. Jack the Ripper was a serial killer who disembowelled the women who were his victims. I happen to like pictures of cuddly little dogs dressed as people, playing games, but it seems a bit much to give them titles to do with people like that. I hope he didn’t do any paintings of a little dog in a top hat and cloak disembowelling a female dog in petticoats in a gas-lit Victorian street. That would have been disgusting. Nobody in their right mind would want to buy anything like that, or even do a web search for it. They would have to be ruddy sexual perverts if they did, like that Rolf Harris. Mind you, he wouldn’t have to look up a painting like that on the internet, he could have just painted one himself. He was a dab hand at anything like that, was Rolf.