Marc Tetro

The goal of Marc Tetro’s art is to “put a smile” on the face of every viewer while properly depicting each dog, as seen in “Maggie & Duck.”

Dogs may be man’s best friends, but for Pop artist and painter Marc Tetro, they’ve become his livelihood. Tetro’s fun and vibrant paintings make you smile, as well as marvel at how he manages to capture the essence of his canine characters in every print.

Born in rural Manitoba, Tetro began his artistic career drawing images on T-shirts for exhibitions at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art. A natural entrepreneur, he soon branched out into creating designs with distinctively Canadian themes, including bears, moose and huskies. Of all his images, it was the dogs that garnered the most attention.

Approached by a gallery in Montreal to exhibit his work, Tetro switched from working on cloth to paper and canvas. But it wasn’t until one of his bulldog acrylics was featured on the television show Friends that things really took off. Galleries started requesting more prints of different dog breeds, and a move to Atlanta gave him the space he needed to open his own studio. His popular images are available as giclee prints on canvas, and his work has been commissioned by organizations as diverse as the World Wildlife Fund and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.

Tetro begins his design process with pencil sketches on paper, then transfers them to his computer to allow for playing with colors and shapes. “I also have an ‘ideas’ box,” he says, “things like magazine clippings, books, CD covers and invitations I’ve picked up on trips that I sift through for inspiration.” His says his graphic design background serves as a jumping-off point for all future work. “Things have to evolve and look different,” he maintains, “but not too different.“

Recently Tetro released “Pop Outs!,” an extension of his canvas work that makes the formerly flat canine images appear three-dimensional. He’s also stepping out of his comfort zone to create new works with completely different subject matter and colors, including a South Beach pastel series for Effusion Gallery in Miami Beach, Fla. “Artists have rules,” he says, “but I am trying to change mine.”

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