Celebrity artist to the stars' dogs

By Genevieve Helliwell

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A self-confessed "Maori boy from Tauranga" will feature on the American reality television show of former rapper Ice T and his glamour model wife Coco.

Graphic artist Graham Hoete, also known as Mr G, and his wife Melissa travelled to New York and presented the Hollywood couple with a spray-painted portrait of their beloved pet dog Spartacus.

The couple star in reality television show Ice Loves Coco, which airs on the E! channel.

"The whole experience was out of this world," Mr G said.

"They rang me up and asked me to feature on their show [Ice Loves Coco] ... so we went to their studio in New Jersey and the whole TV crew were there and that was a new experience so that was pretty cool," he said.

"Then when it was time I went up to Coco and introduced myself. It was all being filmed live and I just said 'Hi, I'm Graham Hoete, or Mr G, and I'm from Aotearoa New Zealand' and she just said 'Oh wow, Mr G from New Zealand' and that was quite cool, [her accent] was quite funny."

Mr G performed a haka for Coco before he unveiled the portrait of Spartacus, an English bulldog.

He said Coco's reaction couldn't have been better and she was "blown away" with the portrait of her beloved pet.

Former rapper Ice T did not make it to the presentation - he was busy filming the television show Law and Order.

One of the highlights of his American trip was connecting with the show's producer, where the pair discussed a potential television show about Mr G and his spray-painting journey.

This was his second time Mr G has painted and presented a dog portrait to a celebrity. The first was to international "dog whisperer" Cesar Millan.

His next wants to paint a portrait of the Queen's late dog Monty.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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