Artist Dean Russo Dog and Cat Art

Artist Dean Russo Dog and Cat Art

artist dean russo dog art cat paintings

Artist Dean Russo Dog and Cat Art

Here is what artist Dean Russo says about the dog and cat art that he creates:

“My greatest inspirations: art and animals. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, I am inspired by the urban landscape that surrounds me. It envelops my work, as it represents my life,” Russo says in his bio on the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Artists Registry page. “Painted walls peeling after years of neglect brought to life by murals and graffiti that cogitates my art-making process. I’m often inspired by the abandoned and the lost and I can find solace in bringing it to life through my work.”

Dean Russo Paintings

If you’ve never seen Russo’s paintings, here is how I would describe his depictions of dogs and cats: Think Andy Warhol crossed with pop artist Keith Haring‘s fondness for animals, with a little bit of Louisiana “Blue Dog” artist George Rodrigue thrown in.

Russo captures smiling dog faces or quizzical cat stares in near photographic quality, with unexpected colorful palettes and doodles. In some works he also adds in sayings that seem to capture the animal’s expression.

Dean Russo Dog Art

For example, he has painted many different images of pit bulls. Clearly this is a breed that can get a bad rap. So his pit bull paintings often include uplifting and positive sayings, such as these:

  • “Lover not a fighter. Kisser not a biter”
  • “People will know how large your soul by how you treat a dog”
  • “Beware of pit bulls. They will steal your heart”
  • “In a perfect world every dog has a home”
  • “Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them”
  • “Happiness is a pit bull smile”

About Dean Russo

In that same Brooklyn Arts Council bio, this is how Russo describes his artistic process:

Each piece begins with a bold ink outline. I then focus on the eyes of my subject. The eyes are perhaps the most important element in a piece; they hold every part of the subject’s characteristics. Bold colors juxtaposition with abstract patterns to project the hidden soul of a living species is what compels my work. Portraying the energy and joy that can sometimes be lost in otherwise preconceived notions of the subject is what drives me.

While Russo is clearly fascinated with animals, he doesn’t just paint dogs and cats. When you visit the Dean Russo Art Facebook page, you’ll see more about his artist’s rendering of music legends from Bob Dylan to David Byrne.

He works out of an artists’ haven in Brooklyn, New York, called Industry City. Russo licenses his work to appear in a variety of media, from art prints to hang on the wall to rugs and doormats to place on the floor. He’s even painting custom cleats for dog-loving NFL players.

(portions of this article originally appeared on


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