Casinos may have a reputation of being eyesores, yet they also attract art enthusiasts. Casinos are now hosting art exhibits to draw in new visitors and increase profits.
Gambling is more than a game of chance; it’s an art that requires skill and intuition. Let’s take a look at some of the most well-known gambling-themed artwork and photography pieces.
Dogs Playing Poker
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s Dogs Playing Poker series of paintings are among the most famous gambling art works ever created, depicting middle and working-class men from satirical portrayals. Due to its immense popularity, these pieces can even be found featured on casino products like T-shirts, cards and iPhone cases!
This painting depicts two dogs enjoying a leisurely game of poker while smoking their cigars and pipes while imbibing spirits, symbolizing gambling as an activity to relax with friends.
Coolidge was amazed at the overwhelming response his paintings received – more so than anyone anticipated! His paintings became icons of masculinity and exuded alpha maleness that resonated with working class Americans. Family Guy and Cheers both featured the paintings; even rapper Snoop Dogg used one for one of their music videos. Today, these paintings remain widely popular and continue to influence new generations of gamblers and artists.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an unpopular artist during his lifetime, engaging in frequent brawls and getting himself in trouble with law.
He became well-known for his realistic depictions of biblical events and vibrant shafts of light, as well as for creating paintings depicting ordinary people from Rome and Milan’s streets.
Caravaggio depicted card cheating as an entertaining form of entertainment in his 1596 painting “Cheaters”. Petty card-cheating was common practice at that time and provides viewers with plenty of entertainment.
Caravaggio used various elements to bind his painting together, including line, light, color and focal/supportive points. He employed directional lines to further emphasize its narrative – such as light shining upon an innocent figure first glowing and then shadowed off onto their deviant companion; also utilized complementary and analogous colors that add depth.
Edvard Munch’s “At the Roulette Table in Monte Carlo”
At the Roulette Table in Monte Carlo depicts a group of men at a casino, an activity Munch was fascinated with due to its relation to sexuality and gambling. Although he never married, Munch considered his paintings “his children”. After his death he bequeathed 1,008 paintings and 15,391 prints such as woodcuts, etchings and lithographs to Oslo City Hall.
Munch sought to depict an emotionally intense experience of life and humanity. Where impressionists aimed at depicting its essence through light, his goal was more complex.
In Munch’s painting, which depicts himself, a vacant-eyed male figure dances with the figure of a woman wearing red. Rumor has it that Tulla Larsen was Tulla Larsen–daughter of a wealthy wine merchant’s who pursued Munch relentlessly until their tormented relationship shaped Munch’s artwork and gave rise to themes such as love, attachment, jealousy in his works.
Dogs in a Casino
Gambling and art share an intrinsic link that has inspired artists throughout history to produce stunning gambling paintings. These masterpieces showcase human emotion during card games or other forms of gambling and become immensely popular with both gamblers and non-gamblers alike.
Caravaggio was known for his drawings depicting fraudulent gambling events to alert his viewers about how easily people could be tricked by people using their wealth to defraud others. One such work by Caravaggio is his masterpiece “The Cardsharps”, depicting two cardsharps at work. One hides extra cards behind their back while giving signals to another who is ready to pull them out and expose his victims’ deceptions.
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s calendar paintings of Dogs Playing Poker became immensely popular among both art enthusiasts and dog lovers alike. Featuring canines in formal attire participating in various activities, his whimsical paintings also managed to convey theatrical tension despite their seemingly simple subject matter – making them great pieces to display both inside casinos as wall decor as well as at home as wall hangings.