Conversation Piece

Get “Dogsy” With Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

Get “Dogsy” With Marvin Gaye Chetwynd
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s Getting Dogsy, 2016

Here’s what you need to know to appreciate Marvin Gaye Chetwynd’s whimsical print Getting Dogsy.

1. A Turner Prize-nominated multimedia artist known for her fluid movement between performance, installation, video, and painting, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd specializes in unlikely combinations of high and low culture. Recent works have referenced everything from the Karl Marx to Jabba the Hutt, with a bevy of costumes, puppets, and props to match. Alongside these more theatrical productions, the artist has also been working on her “Bat Opera” cycle of paintings since 2002.

2. Chetwynd is arguably as well-known for her moniker-morphing as she is for her hybrid approach to art making; from 2006 to 2013, she abandoned her birth name of Alalia in favor of Spartacus, which she called a “more robust…nom de guerre.” For the past three years, however, she’s preferred to be referred to as Marvin Gaye, a name that she says acts as “a shield, or a spell” as well as an homage to the late American singer.

3. The limited-edition print Getting Dogsycomes from Cheywynd’s commission for the 2016 Liverpool BiennialDogsy Ma Bone, a film made with the help of 78 children and teens from Liverpool area. The works draw inspiration from both the cartoon Betty Boop and the modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht—a fittingly incongruous combination for the famously offbeat artist, and one that allows her to fully showcase her slapdash-meets-slapstick aesthetic.



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