Dog Eat Dog

Joni's comments from the 1988 eclection art exhibition catalog: "Dog Eat Dog" was painted to be the cover of an album by the same name. The record company suggested I put my face on the cover instead.

(from an interview on KSCA by NA 1994)

JM: Well, "Dog Eat Dog," for instance, had a large canvas, 10-foot-by-5, all dogs, God dog, Jesus dog, you know, and racial dogs in conflict and so on. I sold that painting in Tokyo. Geffen told me that, "Okay, Joan, we know you're an artist, but stick your picture on the cover." So I did a kind of a collage being attacked by wild dogs, you know, and that was fun to do. So there were really two album covers for that. But he wanted my kisser on the cover, so I had to give it to him (laughs). The patron, the great patron, spoke.

(Singing Her Palette: Reflections on Joni Mitchell's Visual and Musical Art by Peter Brookesmith, Perfect Vision November 1999)
But the desire to relate paint and the things of the world was never far away. For her 1985 album Dog Eat Dog she spent months, sometimes up to 13 hours a day, working on a cover painting that was eventually rejected in favor of a photograph. The reason: "It was suggested to me that I hadn't put my kisser on the cover for a long time," she explained to the BBC's Richard Skinner. The Dog Eat Dog canvas is huge, perhaps 5 by 14 feet, and almost entirely covered in cartoon-like dogs of various dimensions and with various styles of teeth, an din an extraordinary range of hues, few of them naturalistic. The canine forms seem to emerge from the welter of color so that the effect of abstraction dissolves as one approaches the picture and discerns the details.

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baby1965 on

beautiful depth of color, it is perfect!

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