Paavo Jalki woofed his way into our hearts after Jim and Sarah adopted him from Midwest Animal Rescue when he was one year, one month old. At that time our black German Spitz had the inglorious name of Cubby Cougar. His first creative act was to rechristen himself Paavo Jalki. It means 'Little Shadow' in Finnish.
Next Paavo, being a film buff, reinterpreted famous film roles through innovative performance art:
Yet, it was not until Paavo read tales of the great Italian Counter-Reformation painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610), that he gained notoriety.
Our mascot was dumbfounded when he read a July 1597 court transcript describing Caravaggio. Luca, a barber-surgeon reported:
"This painter is a stocky young man, about twenty or twenty-five years old, with a thin black beard, thick black eyebrows and black eyes, who goes dressed all in black, in a rather disorderly fashion, wearing black hose that is a little bit threadbare, and who has a thick head of hair, long over his forehead."
Paavo gazed into a convex mirror and arfed, "Hey, that's me!"
Much later, Paavo slabbered across a 1590's letter by Cardinal Ottavio Paraviciano, recounting an intriguing correspondence with Paolo Gualdo, a cleric from Vicenza:
"He describes himself as extremely keen . . . of having some beautiful work painted . . . . But Caravaggio would have made for him some painting that would have been in that middle area, between the sacred, and the profane."
"Ar-rooff!" Ruffed Paavo. "I can do that!"
And so, he did.
In a darkened chamber he arranged cylindrical props to precarious heights. Satisfied with the composition, he yawped at studio assistant, Robyn Ehrlich, to snap a picture.
Here is the superlative result:
Come visit The Art Academy and see Paavo's masterpiece of paw and passion in person!
Then, have fun watching him meander throughout our classrooms when you join our school.