Susumu Kamijo’s Pastel Poodle Art

In the series 'Poodles', the artist plays with shapes and colours to bring out the personalities of his best friends.


WordsHenri Robert

© Pacific

In his Brooklyn apartment, he is always in the company of his fox terrier Kamijo, and Kuro, his partner’s poodle. Japanese artist Susumu Kamijo‘s passion for dogs was born when he went with his girlfriend Marta, a groomer, to dog shows. Fascinated by how immaculate the poodles looked, he devoted a series of drawings to them, some of which he presented in 2017 in the book Poodles, the first dedicated to his work.

Born in Nagano in 1975, the artist left for the United States at the age of 16. He discovered the world of art and music through the people he met at the University of Oregon, where he studied philosophy, anthropology, and writing, before taking painting and drawing classes. Susumu Kamijo continued his studies at the University of Washington, where he had the opportunity to meet painter Jonas Wood. Poodles includes a conversation between the two artists.


Unique characters

To create this series, which he started in 2014, the artist worked from images of poodles found online or in dog magazines. The 48 pieces gathered together in Poodles, released in 2017, shine a spotlight on diversity and the unique character of each subject. Alone in the foreground, the poodles are presented in a simple setting, alongside a sphere, which can be seen as a moon or sun depending on the colours used.

Through a balancing act between shapes and colours, the poodle blends into the background, standing out more or less depending on the piece. Proud, cheerful, strutting, or looking straight at the viewer, each of the poodles has its own personality and character as a way for the artist to pay tribute to them.


Poodles (2017), a book by Susumu Kamijo, is published by Pacific and Marvin Gardens.

© Pacific

© Pacific