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Exclusive Video: Ken Polinskie, Artist and Animal Lover 

Ken Polinskie reveals that this work is a comment on how we covet power, and explains his artistic process.

Twenty years ago, a short while after moving to Hudson, still-life artist Ken Polinskie realized he had a problem. It was a furry, four-legged problem that answered to the name Wilbur. He did as his friend suggested and, almost over night, went from drawing neo-expressionist botanical pieces to sketching small mammals. "I started to look at the things right in front of me," he explains, with the goal of "clarifying their emotional context."

King of Clubs exemplifies Polinskie's most recent period and will be on display at Greene County Council on the Arts' "Playing with a Full Deck" exhibit in Catskill through March 1. Though the piece may look like a drawing, its lines are comprised of tiny brushstrokes.

Like Polinskie's other animal paintings, King of Clubs arises from a study of symbolism in imagery. "The humor in the image is that this tiny Chihuahua is a very grand figure," he says. "It's symbolic of when we overvalue ourselves, and yet the Chihuahua remains endearing because he has a lot of pride in himself."

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