Questionnaire: Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

Q. What do you wish you knew? A. How to spell would be useful

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Hans Memling, The Last Judgement (1467-71)

Hans Memling, The Last Judgement (1467-71)

What should change?

I think everyone should emigrate (every single person in the entire world at some point in their lifetime).

What images keep you company in the space where you work?

A poster of George Stubbs’ painting of a monkey reaching for a peach, A Green Monkey (1799), from Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery; an early Brian Moran oil painting; a drawing by Doreen McPherson; a photocopy of an etching of Alexandre Dumas, the author of The Count of Monte Cristo (1844); a photocopy of a photo of Richard Dadd; and photographs of me looking good wearing funny outfits.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

Alexander Calder’s Circus (1926–31).

If you could live with only one piece of art, what would it be?

I’d probably kill myself, but I’d like to try and live with Hans Memling’s triptych The Last Judgement (1467–71). Could I swap it for a picture by Beryl Cook when I showed signs of introversion?

What is your favourite title of an art work?

Either a drawing I did of King Kong, There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (1999) or Richard Prince’s Crazy (1999), which features Charles Manson asking, ‘Is it hot in here or am I crazy?’

What do you wish you knew?

How to spell would be useful. Also Arabic – in fact, all languages – levitation and swimming underwater with no need for air. 

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?

Being a really elaborate sex worker.

What should stay the same?

The preservation of the natural environment.

What music are you listening to?

Hank Williams.

What are you reading?

Doris Lessing’s novel The Memoirs of a Survivor (1974).

What do you like the look of?

I like visual overload (like TV walls), skyscrapers twinkling at night, crossing the Thames on the bus, watching St Paul’s from the overground trains when it’s no bigger than a thumbnail, and leaves in trees being moved by the wind. I also like the look of bums and boobs.

What is art for?

Questioning and processing the moment we are in. It’s often non-verbal and also very useful. Marilyn Manson’s interview in Michael Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine (2002) is a good example of art’s role in society.

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd lives and works in Glasgow. She has recently had solo exhibitions at the Migros Museum, Zurich, and Le Consortium, Dijon. 

Issue 120

First published in Issue 120

Jan - Feb 2009

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