Artist debuts dog sculpture made completely out of kibble in Domino Park

Artist Will Kurtz with his kibble bulldog.
Will Kurtz

What a treat!

A massive bulldog sculpture made out of dry kibble at Williamsburg’s Domino Park aims to showcase the enduring shelf-life and processed nature of the dry food.

From now through June 13, “One Sad Kibble Dog” will be the centerpiece of a promotional event for pet food company Freshpet. The company says the sculpture was erected as testimony to the “overly processed” dry pet food industry, exhibiting the “unnatural staying power” of kibble and why pet owners should turn to fresh food.

The company, which prides itself on offering “fresh, real food” to pets, teamed up with sculpture Will Kurtz to bring the colossal canine to life.

The nine-foot-tall sculpture, meant to portray the benefits of fresh food over kibble, has the likeness of an overweight and lethargic dog to illustrate the way a pooch that’s fed kibble might feel.

“We tried to pick a dog that was looking kind of sad and that embodied what a dog would feel like if it ate kibble its whole life,” Kurtz said. “That was the inspiration for this — to show the negative aspects of kibble but at the same time showing the positive aspects of fresh food.”

The sculpture is three-and-a-half times the size of an actual bulldog, weighing more than 200 pounds, and was created using more than 10 bags of kibble.

Kurtz spent close to two months building the sculpture, and told Brooklyn Paper that, after handling the kibble as material, the dog food no longer felt like food at all.

“It felt like gravel almost,” he said. “I didn’t associate it as being food at all, it was more like a material that I just covered my sculpture in.”

Kurtz, an animal lover, has previously built sculptures of dogs. Last year, his installation, “Doggy Bags” — a collection of six large dogs made out of plastic bags and duct tape — was featured in the city’s Garment District.

“I’ve always loved dogs all my life and a big part of my body of work is dogs,” Kurtz said.

Freshpet’s content marketing manager, Karina Delaine, said Kurtz was a “synonymous” fit for the project, due to his passion for animals, as portrayed in his past work.

“We found out he was feeding his pet fresh food as well and switching to a fresh diet was something he was passionate about,” Delaine said.

Kurtz said he recently started feeding his dog, a chihuahua and shih tzu mix, fresh food and that he understands firsthand the benefits of switching to a fresher diet. In just a year, he says he’s noticed that his dog has more energy and that her fur is thicker.

“I just feel like she’s much happier and healthier now,” Kurtz said.

Freshpet uses 100 percent natural farm-raised beef, poultry and fish, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and steam cooks their food, unlike the dry dog food industry that uses powdered meat, artificial coloring and high heat cooking methods that result in a less natural product.

“We started the company with a mission to improve the lives of dogs and cats through real fresh food,” Delaine said. “We pride ourselves in starting with fresh ingredients and ending with fresh ingredients.” 

The sculpture is located at the Domino Park Dog Run, 15 River St. at S. Fifth Street, where it will be on display through Sunday.