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The School of Hard Knocks

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Gary Dobry and Brenda Venus' New Work: Tipping the Scales

The School of Hard Knock's owner and head trainer, Gary Dobry, and writer/actress/film-maker, Brenda Venus are producing new work that is smaller in scale, but more grandiose in terms of intimacy.

Chicago, IL, October 29, 2012 --( Some of the work that artist Gary Dobry has painted and sketched of writer/actress/film-maker, Brenda Venus has already exhibited at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, California, the Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago and in the award winning exhibition titled, "INKED: Tattoo Imagery in Contemporary Art" at the Jack Olson Gallery at Northern Illinois University.

Dobry defers to Picasso when asked about his body of work on Venus; "Picasso once said that an artist's sketchbook is his diary. One knows the artist's loves, what the artist was thinking and where the artist was at specific times and places when we see the artist's most intimate work in his sketchbooks. It's the fodder for detectives and historians." Dobry brings it back to his work with Venus, "I don't want to obsess on Picasso, but Picasso said that the smaller the work is, as in sketchbooks, the more intimate that work is. Picasso used the example of a signature. Try to reproduce the 'you' in your signature on a scale one-hundred times larger than when you sign a check. You lose the 'you' in the signature. The same can be said for a painting or drawing. The larger the scale, the more 'you' you will lose in the work."

Dobry's new work is smaller in scale, but more grandiose in terms of intimacy. Dobry says that he is, "very aware that Brenda is a historical figure due to her history with Henry Miller. But, I'm equally aware that the Brenda that Henry Miller knew and loved was a very young woman just starting out in life. That Brenda was a young woman looking for answers. The Brenda that I know is a tour de force, a woman with the experience of a seasoned fighter, a woman no longer 'searching' for answers, but now a source for them."

Dobry says that his early work with Brenda was larger in scale because he saw Brenda as a larger than life character. "Brenda Venus might as well have been the Venus de Milo!" Dobry tells us that it was his admiration for Miller that led him to Venus. "I have such respect for Henry Miller, and for Brenda's place in history that I found myself actually stuck in that history. I had to remind myself that it was Miller himself who said that, 'Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life'".

Gone, for now, are the large movie-screen canvases on which Dobry idolized Venus as a bigger-than-life character. Now the work is more personal, more intimate and a few fantasy driven. Dobry defers to Picasso one more time... "One doesn't copy nature, one must be in tune with nature."

Gary Dobry is the owner and head trainer at Pug's Boxing Club at The School of Hard Knocks in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Dobry's work has exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Brenda Venus is a writer, actress and film-maker who has just released a signed limited edition of her new novella, 'Twelve Hours' ( Exhibition dates for Dobry's new work will be announced soon. For more information check-out: and
Contact Information
The School of Hard Knocks
Lorna Heir
815 356 6572

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