Boris O Klein ~painting dogs was his meal ticket!

Boris O Klein (1893-1985) was born in Moscow in the USSR to French parents. He returned to France at a young age living in the region of Alsace.  He signed up and served in the French army during the First World War and afterwards moved to Paris where he continued to live until his death.

Boris O Klein became an artist and cartoonist and is best known for his hand coloured etchings of dogs getting up to mischief. They have become known as the ‘Dirty Dogs of Paris’ or ‘naughty dogs’ because many of the etchings portray lewd acts.

Boris O Klein
Hello, lovely Blond!
Painted under a pseudonym

He also painted under a pseudonym, “Jean Herblet” The reason is not known but perhaps under that name he produced more serious work.  All his work seemed to feature dogs however and under the name “Jean Herblet” he produced many hunting scenes.

It appears that most of his work was sold to tourists visiting Paris. It was this that probably led him to start producing prints as he could make multiple copies of the one image and sell it over and over again.

The “Dogs of Paris” series was produced by engraving.

When he produced the series that have become known as the “Dogs of Paris,” it amused and resonated with tourists and became a best seller for him and they have remained popular to this day.  The “Dogs of Paris” series was produced by engraving.

Boris O Klein
Boris O Klein – Join the Queue!

The technique requires the image to be “etched” into a plate of a hard surface by a tool called a burin. (These days usually copper).  Ink is then rubbed all over the plate and the excess removed leaving ink in the etched lines.  Good quality paper is needed which is dampened slightly.  The plate and the paper is then put under a press leaving the image on the paper.  Engraving is quite a time-consuming exercise as each print has to be individually done by hand.  Each print of the “Dogs of Paris” series was then hand coloured.

The most popular images of Boris O Klein

There are 30 images in the complete set of Boris O Klein “Dirty Dogs of Paris” and we hold in stock the most popular ones.

These are as follows:

Malentendue (misunderstanding)                       Oh Liberte (Oh Liberty)

La Profanteur (The Defiler)                               L’Etourdie (Bewildered)

Sans Interdit (Prohibited)                                   Tu Viens Beau Blond (a beautiful blond)

Eternels Ennemis (always enemies)                   W.C. Prive (private W.C.)

A La Queue (Join the Queue)                            Reviens Chouquette (come back chouquette)

Sus au Curieux (extra curious)                           Comme Nos Maitres (as our master)

Chacun Son Tour (each in turn)                         L’Attente (attention)

L’Inauguration (the inauguration)                      7,8,9 out…

C’est Impossible! (it is impossible!)                   Vous Voulez (you want to)

Zu tils nous l’ont Grillage! (damn they have a grille)        Hello, Beau Blond! (Hello beautiful blond)

Cercle Vicieux (vicious circle)

Boris O Klein
Boris O Klein – always enemies

Upon the death of Boris O Klein in 1985 his Grandson Eric, has taken over the production of these prints from the original plates and hand paints them to authentically match the originals of his Grandfather.

Boris O Klein etchings have remained very popular and can be found in many houses and establishments throughout the world.



Robert Tilling ~ a much loved inspirational artist

This post is about an artist, Robert Tilling, who spent most of his working life in Jersey, Channel Islands and sadly is no longer with us. As a Gallery, we have been very fortunate and proud to display his work for a number of years and continue to do so to this day.

Robert Tilling was born in Bristol on the 29th September 1944.  He studied Architecture and Art Education and after working in the UK for a few years accepted a post in Jersey and became head of Art at Victoria College in 1968, a post he held until 1997 when he retired and concentrated on his painting.

He was elected a member of the Royal Institute in 1985, in 1987 he was invited to lecture at the Tate Gallery and in 1994 was awarded the prize for the ‘Most outstanding Work by a Member’ of the Royal Institute.

Robert Tilling ~Crane series Vl
Crane Series Vl
Robert Tilling ~Summer Harbour
Summer Harbour

Robert Tilling exhibited his work at various shows and was a major prize winner at the ‘International Drawing Biennale’ in Cleveland and was awarded the prize for ‘Excellence in Watercolour’ at the Royal West of England Academy Autumn exhibition in 2003.  His work is held in private and corporate collections around the world.

In Jersey, he illuminated two of the Loyal Addresses presented to her Majesty the Queen on her visits to the Island and the original of his watercolour ‘Distant Mont Orgueil’ reproduced to decorate the menu card for Her Majesty’s visit in 2001, was later presented as a gift to Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex on their visit to the Island the following year.

Continue reading Robert Tilling ~ a much loved inspirational artist

You just could not make it up in this crazy world of ours!

The art world is not immune from the bizarre and downright strange.

Here are a few examples of items from around the world that have caught my eye over the past few weeks.

Forgetful Art Dealer

Now I would be the first to confess that I am a forgetful person.  However, even I would remember if I was carrying a picture worth $1.5 million in a taxi, to remember to take it when I reached my destination.

Well, one French Art Dealer must have had a lot on his mind when he alighted from a taxi in Paris.  Why,? because he completely forgot that he had stowed away the painting in the cabbies boot for safety.

Lucio Fontana
A similar painting by Lucio Fontana as left in the taxi

Even more bizarre, he didn’t realise his mistake until the next day! ($1.5 million paintings must be two a penny to him)

He tried to locate the taxi he had used without success and had to report the incident to the police.  Lucky for him the cab driver was honest and within a couple of days, the painting was reunited with the dealer.  The painting was called ‘Concetto Spaziale’ by Lucio Fontana.

I would lay odds that he won’t do that again!

Continue reading You just could not make it up in this crazy world of ours!

The Humble Poster is Worth Collecting and can be a Winner!

I meet a lot of people who would like to begin making a collection of Art but are restricted by limited funds and hesitant on what to collect.

“Should I collect one artist’s work? Perhaps collect a particular genre or a subject matter I’m interested in” I often get asked.

What should I collect?
vintage travel poster
Vintage travel poster

These questions I cannot answer and each person would have to make their own decision.  A great deal will depend on available funds.  Collecting a well-known artist is likely to be costly and this route is only open to a few people.  However, it is possible to begin collecting art on a tight budget and one area where there is plenty of opportunities is posters.

Collecting a well-known artist is likely to be costly.

I’m not talking about the posters on cheap paper that you can pick up for a few pounds but vintage posters that have some age, have become highly collectable and the price of some is sky-rocketing.

Film Poster
Film Poster “Bus Stop”

Let me give you an example.  Back in 1963 workmen working on a building discovered hundreds of posters by Toulouse-Lautrec rolled up under some floorboards.  Now they weren’t all in the best condition but the best ones sold at the time for a few hundred dollars.  In the 1970’s those posters were changing hands for around $800 each and today their value is around $40,000 each and more.

Posters can be a Good Investment

These are eye-watering amounts and if you are fortunate to acquire posters that are in demand, the prices will increase.  It can turn out to be one of the best if not the best investment you ever make.  Certainly better interest than in the Bank.

Continue reading The Humble Poster is Worth Collecting and can be a Winner!

Fancy being an Auctioneer and selling paintings for millions?

The auctioneer
The Auctioneer

No, I’m not talking about auctioning household stuff where the maximum price is likely to be in the hundreds.

I’m talking about being a Fine Art auctioneer for someone like Christie’s, Bonhams or Sotheby’s.

What do you think the requirements would be to become one of these top auction houses auctioneers?

Well, the first thing is you have to be good at maths.   You also have to possess an authoritative voice which is clear and everyone who is bidding knows you are in charge.

How do you get to become an Auctioneer?

The first thing is to join a top auction house and become involved with the various auctions that they have virtually every day.

Knowledge of all the items that are sold through the auction house is important and this is the time to gain that knowledge as you handle items of great value.

Over time, you will specialise in a particular field, e.g. silver, pictures, ceramics etc.  The main auction houses always have auctioneers who specialise in a particular field, and these are the auctions they will take.

Continue reading Fancy being an Auctioneer and selling paintings for millions?

Banksy – the enigma who has puzzled the artworld.

The elusive artist Banksy has done a good job of keeping his true identity a secret for well over a decade.

Numerous names have cropped up but none to-date have been confirmed.  Apparently, the most likely suspect is a man by the name of Robin Gunningham.  Scientists at Queen Mary University of London claim to have “tagged” Gunningham as Banksy using geographic profiling.  This technique is usually used for catching serial killers.

Is Gunningham Banksy?
Robin Gunningham - Banksy?
Robin Gunningham

If Gunningham is Banksy then we know a little about him.  Gunningham is a former public schoolboy who attended the £9,240.00 a year Bristol Cathedral School.  On enquiries, it was discovered that he was a gifted artist at school thereby adding weight to him being Banksy.  Banksy rose to prominence in the Bristol street scene, therefore making it likely that he came from around that area.  Of course, you can now find his work all over the world with his latest show “Walled Off Hotel” in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem which has caused quite a stir.

Other names have cropped up but so far, Gunningham is the front runner.  I suppose until the day Banksy reveals himself or slips up in some way, we will never know his true identity.

It is understood that he was influenced and inspired by the French stencil artist Blek le Rat and an artist from Bristol, Robert del Naja, who went on to form Massive Attack.

Elusive and identity unknown
Just Google it - Banksy
Just Google it ~ Banksy

Banksy’s elusiveness and unknown identity have turned him into something of a celebrity and in the process made him rich. -very smart!  Not bad for a graffiti artist who predominately uses stencils for his work.  However, he has a social conscience and a lot of his work is bringing to the public eye issues of equality, brutality and unfairness in our society.

Continue reading Banksy – the enigma who has puzzled the artworld.