Canine art is doggone

Western Suburbs Weekly

SYDNEY artists Gillie and Marc Schattner are sick of dogs and say they will be steering clear of canine subject matter in their future endeavours. The couple’s latest exhibition The Dog in Us All, showing at Linton and Kay Contemporary in Subiaco, attracted nation-wide attention when it debuted earlier in the year, largely because of a huge sculpture entitled Good Boy. It depicted a naked man with the head of a dog posed on all fours and sipping a cappuccino. The Schattners attributed the furore that erupted to serendipitous timing and placement – the sculpture was displayed on the pavement outside a gallery that was next door to a childcare facility and the exhibition occurred at the same time as Bill Henson’s controversial photographic exhibition. “Good Boy was supposed to be fun and light-hearted, people probably took it too seriously,” Gillie said. Marc said that at the time of the exhibition people had a heightened sense of morality that played into a right wing concept of art versus porn. “We had some really interesting interpretations of Good Boy as the castration of man and as a feminist statement,” he said.But the Schattners were no strangers to the canine connection, with much of their previous work exploring the concept of the duality of man and dog, including their finalist entry into the Archibald Prize, and they say their intention with The Dog in Us All exhibition was to expound on the theme in a whimsical and humorous manner. Although they may not be exploring the subject matter of dogs anytime soon, the Schattners are not shying away from controversy, with some of their new work including a sculpture of Jesus riding a skateboard. “A lot of the new works we’re doing are more and more challenging,” Marc said. “As contemporary artists, it is our obligation to challenge.”Good Boy is yet to be sold.

Canine Art is Doggone