This painting is one of a series of works that explores the more aggressive and violent side to humanity. the work was influenced by recent media reports on the increase of knife crime amongst young people. many young children are carrying weapons for fear of being attacked and see a knife as a necessary accessory to use in self defence. within this series of work I have used various recognisably aggressive dog breeds, to replace the human face. this is intended to give character to the figures, whilst refraining from giving them their humanity. the themes of gang culture, street status and dog fighting are all relevant to the image but I wanted to allow for sympathy and pathos to the character and the complexity of the issue by using the more gentle expression of a puppy.