Candice B. Groot
Personal Collection
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Love for Animals

Sculpture from Candice B Groot's Collection - side-view of an animal head

"By intersecting my passion for art with the life around me, my love for animals becomes not just a separate interest, but another facet of who I am."

Candice B. Groot  /  CIR 2012

Sculpture from Candice B Groot's Collection

An Ardent Love for Animals

Outside of her innate love for the arts, Candice also had a genuine fondness for animals, often expressing that they brought unparalleled joy and comfort to her life. Growing up as a “cat person,” she initially had an adoration for felines. However, as time went by, her family of furry creatures expanded to include three playful dogs and her vibrant Macaw Parrot, Jack, each possessing their own distinct and endearing personality. Her household became a haven for all kinds of pets.

Candice B Groot's Loft in Chicago
Taxidermy kittens reenacting a wedding scene.
A painting of a monkey with a cat and dog.

Reflected in her collection, animals were a significant motif found across different mediums and meanings. Her constant companions were immortalized in a 1997 oil painting by Christine Merrill. Titled, Ida Mae, Vivian, and Esther the piece depicted her three dogs with lifelike precision, and adding a touch of personal sentiment, a nod to her parrot Jack was subtly incorporated with a feather prominently placed at the forefront of the piece.

Decorative Circle
Candice B. Groot with her three dogs.
A dog and cat sit together on the chair.
The American Dog at Home book
Book page: Candice Groot with Iris and Kodiak
Home book showing page A Sense of Humor
The American Dog at Home book
The American Dog at Home shows page in the book

The American Dog at Home

In the renowned book "The American Dog at Home" by William Secord, Candice B. Groot is featured alongside eminent figures like Oprah Winfrey, showcasing Americans' deep-rooted relationship with their dogs. The book offers a rare glimpse into the lives of pet owners through the timeless oil portraits created by Christine Merrill. Candice inclusion in this anthology celebrates not only her love for her own canine companions but also reflects the shared sentiment among Americans from all walks of life. It's an acknowledgment of the universal love and deep emotional bonds formed with our furry family members.

In every art piece inspired by animals, there's a simple story of love and connection, waiting for the viewer to feel and understand.

The Animal Motif in Artistic Expression

Her side collection of art pieces attained an incredible amount of taxidermy of wild animals and of people’s beloved pets. Extending beyond taxidermy, however, the essence of animals was omnipresent, found in paintings, photography, ceramic works, furniture pieces, and even clocks. Whether abstract or straightforward, quite a variety of pieces alluded to animal themes. 

Decorative Circle
Candice B. Groot Art Collection
A blue parrot sits in a wreath made of yarn.

Abstract Juxapositions

There was also a fascinating juxtaposition of human and animal elements. This blend was often seen in pieces where human attributes were merged with animal bodies, creating hybrids. A notable example of this was Robert Arneson’s 1981 piece, Portrait of the Artist as a Clever Old Dog, where the human head was placed on a dog’s body. Alessandro Gallo’s 2013 Wading depicted a Snowy Egret bird head on a woman’s crouching body. 

Candice’s love for animals was a huge part of who she was as an artist and individual. This adoration was not just evident in her daily interactions with the creatures she held dear but also deeply embedded in her artistic endeavors as they lived amongst the art with her.

A sculpture being lifted by a crane.