Big Apple beckons Bay artist Mr G

By Genevieve Helliwell

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A Tauranga graffiti artist is preparing to move to New York after striking a deal that could see him feature in a Hollywood-style reality television show.

Graham Hoete, also known as Mr G, has signed an preliminary contract with Hollywood producer Shawn Miles that would see them work towards a potential Hollywood-style reality television show about his graffiti art talents.

Mr Miles is the same producer of the current hit reality television show Ice Loves Coco. 

If picked up by a network, Mr G could feature in a 10-season show that will follow him around the world creating aerosol portraits of celebrities' dogs.

He is calling his feat the International Dogathon100 and his goal is to create 100 dog portraits in 10 countries.

"They are not all going to be celebrities' dogs. I'm hoping five or six in each country will be a celebrity dog but I'll also do portraits of everyday, ordinary dogs that have done heroic or inspirational things," Mr Hoete told the Bay of Plenty Times.

The idea for a television show of his dogathon journey started more than a year ago when he travelled to Los Angeles and delivered a portrait of Caesar Milan's late dog to the dog whisperer. While he was there, he met the executive producer of CSI Miami and she encouraged him to dream big.

The idea rekindled last month when Mr Hoete and his wife Melissa travelled to New York and presented Hollywood couple Ice T and Coco with a portrait of their dog Spartacus.

"There I spoke to their producer [Shawn Miles]. I told him my vision for the dogathon and he thought it was an awesome idea."

"And since I've been back, we've been having conference calls and getting all the details sorted."

Mr Hoete said the contract with Mr Miles solidified their business relationship.

"We're still nutting out logistics but its good to see the ink dry on that dotted line and we work really well together. Shawn's a great guy," Mr Hoete said.

All going well, filming could begin at Christmas with a crew capturing Mr Hoete's Christmas Day at Motiti Island with his family. Then it's off to New York in January.

"I grew up on Motiti Island, my family is there," he said. "I love the land and this is home."

"Fame, fortune and money isn't for me, that's not what this is about. For me it's important to keep things real."

He hopes to paint portraits for Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Aniston, MMA fighter Anderson Silva, Oprah and the Queen.

"I've worked really hard over the years and I know this isn't going to be easy, but it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it."

His wife Melissa and dog Honey will also move with him to New York.

To follow Mr Hoete's journey, visit www.dogathon100.com or search "Mr G Dogathon 100" on Facebook.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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