The sculptural work, entitled "Dog" is a contemporary rendition of the legendary philosopher Diogenes of Sinope. He was born 300 years before Christ, and was renamed Diogenes the Cynic, which translates as dog in ancient Greek. He made a virtue of extreme poverty, and lived in a barrel, which he stationed in the market place of the ancient city of Athens. Diogenes waged a relentless campaign against social values and institutions of his time, and he voiced his contempt for human ambition, self improvement and materialism.
Diogenes was once afforded respect by Alexander the Great, and there is an account of the general inquiring of the vagrant philosopher, as to what he might wish for, only to be told by the old sage, that he should step to the side, since he was blocking his sunlight.
His philosophical messages were conveyed through anecdotes and cynical humor. Unlike his rival, Plato, we have no attributed scripts from Diogenes, yet his charismatic presence and observations on the human condition resonate with us today. The myths of Diogenes often refer to his intellect and sharp wit, which he wielded indiscriminately against anyone.
There is no known portrait of Diogenes made in classical times, and the same can be said about any of the ancient Greek philosophers, including Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. The latter Roman portraits extant in our museums are not portraits in the modern sense, rather they are generic types developed through a long tradition of copies and adaptation.The "Dog" is an interpretation inspired by his character in popular mythology.
Diogenes' rejection of the norms of decency, meant that he would urinate, defecate and even masturbate in the public domain. This has to be taken into context, because the obscene behavior was orchestrated to attract an audience, so that he might begin to share his philosophical views. Provocation remains a powerful tool for communication, and the gesture given to the "Dog" is not intended as a person
Work in progress Diogenes A.Lendzion