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Josh Agle art exhibition inspired by furries

Edited by GreenReaper as of 01:00
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Josh Agle's Animal KingdomThe Corey Helford Gallery, in Culver City, California, is to play host to an exhibition by painter Josh Agle, also known as "Shag".

Entitled Animal Kingdom, the exhibition will display a number of Agle's paintings, created in his distinctive retro style. Each features one or more characters dressed as animals, including feline women, equine men, a boy dressed as a lamb, and men sporting antlers.

Agle found inspiration in the furry subculture and anime fandom:

I love looking into subcultures. [...] I love that people throw themselves into it wholeheartedly

Agle was particularly inspired by fursuiters, the subset of the furry fandom which dresses up in costumes, and intrigued by the notion that "people are 'hooking up' in costume at furry conventions":

In my paintings, I always try to reference our connection to our prehistoric selves as human beings. Since we're descended from earlier mammals, maybe these people are more in touch with their primal being.

Animal Kingdom's initial reception is scheduled for February 11; the show ends on the 29th.


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"Particulary inspired by fursuiters."

Did not see that coming at all.

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Then again, I don't see furry artwork roaming around freely, at furry conventions or otherwise. He's working with what he's got.

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I would have preferred paintings of anthropomorphized animals rather than of Fursuiters, but whatever turns him on. I hope that we can get a report on whatever feedback Agle gets. Culver City ... I might be able to get to that.

Fred Patten

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By the way, that "boy dressed as a lamb" does not look to be over 18. What is he drinking and smoking?

Fred Patten

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Well, there's obviously "spoiled innocense" imagery going on.

Which also doesn't fill me with confidence.

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He's definitely the black sheep of the family.

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You and your puns, GreenReaper.

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A picture is worth a thousand words...

And yet all that has been found here is leaning on the negative side.

Cause being a cynic is so quaint.

In other news, I have the sudden urge to make a martini... Oh wait...

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The guy is using the buzz around the word furry (and anime, while he's at it) to gain interest for his not actually very interesting art. This style of art started out as kitsch, gained some retro appeal, and now has become so ubiquitous as retro kitsch that it is dated as retro kitsch since at least the mid-nineties. And it ain't exactly technically that difficult. I'm not saying he's in it for the money; it could be just ego. Either way, I am saying he's a hack.

Furthermore, he has the nerve to say he "loves looking into subcultures" despite the fact that the subculture he claims he has looked into already has its own unique artistic tradition that approximately five seconds of "looking into the subculture" would unearth that just as obviously has not inspired his art. At all.

This man has obviously never seen furry art (or, for that matter, anime). To claim his work is inspired by either ... That's just insulting.

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A vast majority furry art is pretty much "kitsch" so I don't see that being something we can hold against him.

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I don't know ... I've looked at the samples of Agle's "Animal Kingdom" paintings shown in the links to this article. While I think I'd still prefer to see him depict anthropomorphic animals than humans wearing fursuits, his "retro kitsch" style appeals to me more than do the other artists' samples shown on the Corey Helford Gallery's website. Yes, it does have a very "'50s moderne" look to it, which none of the popular Furry artists have. So I'm stuck in the past. I will definitely try to get to this exhibition.

Fred Patten

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I'm saying this doesn't reach the level of kitsch.

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That being said, a good portion of furry "art" doesn't reach the level of kitsch, either.

I'm a lot more angry at this guy for what I perceive is using the negative connotations around furries to raise the spectre of contreversy around his art to gain interest in it, than Sonious was for, say, some bored intern making an off-color joke in a boring write up of some dog pound initiative because she was bored. If anyone's going to exploit the furry fandom's bad reputation, it should be the furry fandom, dammit.

But seriously, the guy isn't even using the right type of people using animal suits for sex; he's tapping into an older "myth" of bored rich people wearing animal suits because they've tried everything else to get off to, and are running out of options. Probably the uber-example is Stephen King's The Shining, which was more explained and less "WTF?" in his novel than Kubrick's movie.

I use the quote marks around the word "myth" because apparently a Senator (a stereotypicaly sexually bored and rich profession if there ever was one) actually got caught doing exactly that last year.

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You're seeing way too much into that art... and sadly your interpretation is probably going to be very contagious.

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Dude, I've "found" Biblical references in furry cheesecake without apology; if you don't see stuff in art, your not looking hard enough.

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I use the quote marks around the word "myth" because apparently a Senator (a stereotypicaly sexually bored and rich profession if there ever was one) actually got caught doing exactly that last year.

Senator, or a senator's aide? The latter is far from a stereotypically rich and bored profession.

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No, you're thinking of the Alan Panda guy.

An actual Senator got into trouble for sending a photo of himself to a female aide in the middle of the night in a (not very good) tiger suit. May not have been a sex thing, but at least that would make sense. He pretty much blamed "temporary insanity."

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That's not a suit, that a Kigarumi.

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Kigurumi, or pajamas.

Trivia: Did you know Kigurumi also refer to fursuits in Japanese?

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Notoriously, the only reason that the U.S. 1879-1880 $4 "Stella" gold coin exists is that when the Treasury Department was seriously considering minting it, a couple hundred copies of a sample design were made and given to each of the U.S. Senators at the time for their approval. The final decision was to not make the $4 coin. But the Senators were not asked to return the sample coins, and shortly afterwards Washington D.C.'s higher-class brothels started reporting that they had gotten lots of funny-looking $4 gold coins and were they real? Coin collectors snapped them up, and they still exist.

Fred Patten

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Satire, my dear sir, satire.

Now where's my cigars...

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Hey, Equivamp, you want to fill the new ... person (sorry, still haven't caught the proper gender pronoun), anyway, the new furry on my views on saying the word "satire" too much?

Also, please stick around; I'm only rude because I'm rude.

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One can say many a thing about asses.

But many people can agree: asses are often admired, despite the shit that comes out of them.

I'm still here aren't I? :P

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And welcome, too!

Though I still didn't catch the gender. FurAffinity suggets male, so you're a he until further notice, okay?

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SoFurry has it right there . . .

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Well, I was starting to creep myself out, so I stopped at FurAffinity.

Also, rainbows. Duh.

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I think I said the word once, so I'm not sure if that was "too much"...and from my experience, I think you were just being touchy because I said I didn't like stand-up comedy. Unless I'd said it before that, in which case I don't remember.

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Once is too much. And yes, touchy.

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Out of all of Agle's paintings, I chose that image to go with the article because it reminded me of that old joke...

Once upon a time, a travelling salesman approaches a house and knocks on the door. After a moment, it is opened by an eight-year-old boy who is holding a bottle of whiskey and puffing on a long cigar.

Somewhat taken aback, the salesman says, "Hello little boy. Is your mother or father home?"

The boy stares at him for while, takes the cigar out of his mouth, flicks some ashes on the carpet, and replies: "What the **** do you think?"

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Well, from one of the links:

There's a boy dressed as a lamb acting as though he's an adult [...]

EDIT: And that apparently isn't all of the picture:

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From what I can see... not really my taste. But hey, whatever works for folks.

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Well, this is not so bad.

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Well, I have just returned from a viewing of Josh Agle’s “Animal Kingdom” exhibit at the Corey Helford Gallery. I think that it is an exhibit that most Furry fans would find worthwhile.

Today, Saturday 18 February, my sister took me in my wheelchair from my convalescent hospital to view the exhibit. The Corey Helford Gallery is on Washington Blvd. in downtown Culver City, in a small, tree-lined neighborhood with numerous art galleries, picture framing shops, and artists’ supply shops. The Corey Helford Gallery itself is a nondescript dark gray building on the outside. Inside, it is one gigantic empty square boxlike room with stark white walls, and a low black settee in the middle. The paintings on exhibit are mounted along the four walls. There is a small staircase to an upstairs loft where limited-edition art prints of the exhibited paintings are on sale.

SHAG’s “Animal Kingdom" exhibit consists of fifteen original acrylic on panel paintings, from 13” x 10” to 96” x 34”, priced from $4,000 to $40,000, eight of which were marked “sold”. I previously described SHAG’s art style as 1950s moderne; I stick to that opinion. (I see on SHAG’s website that an art critic describes it as “retro-kitsch”.) Each painting is titled. Almost all have a theme of stylized cocktail parties in which the men wear stag horns and the women are dressed in form-fitting cat-girl costumes. Four paintings also show a child dressed as a lamb or bear cub or bee, either drinking while the adult is asleep or trying to steal a drink (an obvious vodka-and-orange-juice screwdriver) while the adults are awake. Most of the paintings had a small jack next to them on which the viewer was supposed to listen to a very brief story. Fortunately for me, the audios were all broken so the gallery had printouts of the stories, which I was able to take for this report.

The Flayrah announcement’s Gallery link opens to the “Animal Kingdom” exhibit announcement showcasing SHAG’s painting #1, “The Riding Crop”. The “story” is: “Both girls eyed the riding crop – they knew one of them would be forced to use it soon. They were strict vegetarians, and detested animal cruelty of any kind, but sometimes there came a point when violence was the only solution,” The Gallery’s “Future Shows” link shows painting #14, “The Cat Carrier”, also clickable as SHAG 1, which did not have a printout of its story. SHAG 2, which Higgs Raccoon linked to in his Flayrah announcement showing a child dressed as a black lamb smoking a cigar and holding a cocktail, is the exhibit’s #8, “The Blackest Lamb”, with the story, “It’s midnight. She has been waiting for her lover to arrive since 7:00. Even if he doesn’t get there until 1:00 am, the wait will be worth it. He’s getting takeout at Umami.” SHAG 3 is #2, “Black Kitten in Green”, “She won’t blow on the dandelion. She will crush it and crumple it into a small ball of greenish fiber and juice, taking care not to let any of the floating seeds escape. She just put in a new lawn at the Roscomare house.” SHAG 15 is #12, “The Wayward Cub”, “She didn’t have a problem with Steve’s drinking until the first drop of his Purple Rain hit the snowy white fur of her ex-husband.” SHAG 17 is #7, “White Paw”, showing a white kitten playing with a screwdriver, “She’d asked him to fix the icemaker many times this month, and his excuse was always ‘I can’t find my screwdriver.’” I won’t bother to list all of them, but most of the exhibited paintings are here on the “Future Shows” website.

The prints of these paintings, each one an “archivally framed (however many) color serigraph”, are priced from $400 to $1,100.

Josh Agle has his own gallery in Palm Springs, and a website,, where more of his artwork may be seen.

Fred Patten

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Incidentally, anyone who wants to look at this exhibition through its online links had better do so almost immediately. Presumably the Corey Helford Gallery will not feature the "Animal Kingdom" on its Future Shows weblink page for much longer.

Fred Patten

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