Artist's Statement:

     Francisco José de Goya y Luciéntes points my way. I would view the ridiculous and sometimes horribly amiss - the unthinking lack of empathy which my species has for other animals. In the past, I pictured the life of monkeys and apes, the badly treated and under-rated pig, chickens beakless awash in excrement. Now, the pit bull.

     My painting is staccato, Expressionist. Precise details are not important to me; rather, the impact of the animal's situation, humanity-caused. Many of these recent works (water colors) are done plen aire on my land in Tennessee..

     In this series, color takes second place to form; many of the works are monochromatic. Aim: shades emphasize mood. With these American Pit Bull Terriers, my work is not of the pit and blood, but rather of what might be possible in a kinder world. Goya would picture the tearing apart while I hope for change.

     For the pit bull, some cry genocide: their behavior is dangerous. Taught to fight by felons, the dog once featured with children in comedies like "The Little Rascals" has been taken over by blood sport.

     Now I share my home, my art, my life, with Pip, my affectionate child- and adult-loving dog-tolerating American Pit Bull Terrier. For the first time, the ground in my work is white. The future of the subjects is unknown.

Theron Caldwell Ris