Dogs Playing Poker Picture Gets Modern Twist - Saturday 28th of January 2006

ARIZONA – Sometimes you've got to know when to fold them.

"I swore I'd never do a version of dogs playing cards," says Ron Burns. "But everyone's playing poker these days and too many people were asking for this. Quite frankly, I folded."

The result of this broken promise? Burns Studio Publishing is pleased to announce the release of limited editions of "Kong Juice and Cards," Burns' riff on the classic C.M. Coolidge image of dogs gathered around a card table for a night of poker.

The Burns version features a German Shepherd, a Yellow Labrador, a Beagle, a Boston Terrier and a Dachshund, each sporting high-tech toys such as iPods and Blackberries.

The name "Kong juice" comes from the popular cylindrical-shaped chew toy, a Kong, which is pictured here as a drinking cup for each of the players.

The original acrylic on canvas painting measures 36" x 60" and is on display at Vessley Gallery in Scottsdale, Ariz., with a price tag of $49,500.

Burns Studio Publishing produced 100 limited edition giclees on stretched canvas, 29" x 48" for $2,250 each and 195 limited edition giclees on archival paper, 22" x 34" for $850. The limited editions are hand-signed and numbered by Ron Burns.

One limited edition is currently offered on eBay to benefit National Dog Day, a newly created U.S. holiday to be first celebrated August 26, 2006. Burns is the official artist for National Dog Day.

"Kong Juice" represents the third time Burns has produced a piece inspired by another artist. An early piece titled "Roy Speaks" is based on his admiration for the artist Roy Lichtenstein, and Burns' "Henri and the Goldfish" is based on his love of Matisse.

Burns is artist in residence for the Humane Society of the United State and has a long-term commitment to improving the lives of animals, such as shelter dogs, and search and rescue dogs. Besides producing original works and private commission projects, Burns has helped raise millions of dollars to benefit animal-related charities. Within the past year he has painted the portraits of dogs owned by celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Doc Severinsen, and Joan Rivers as a means of raising funds and awareness of the needs of animals.

His work will also be featured on a January 29, 2006 episode of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

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