John Davies Dogman 1972

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Artwork details

Artist
John Davies born 1946
Title
Dogman
Date 1972
Medium Polyester resin, fibreglass and steel
Dimensions Object: 279 x 178 x 267 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1972
Reference
T01577
Not on display

Display caption

Davies's 'William Jeffrey with Device', also in this display, was cast from life. However, 'Dogman' was originally modelled by the artist in clay. A plaster mould was then made, and from this the head was cast in fibreglass and painted. Both sculptures incorporate what Davies calls a 'device'. Here, this takes the form of a dog-like muzzle which was modelled onto the features of the head. Glass eyes complete the illusion of reality, despite this bizarre appendage. The viewer is thus presented with a paradox: a head which appears both naturalistic and simultaneously fantastic. Davies exploits this disturbing ambiguity to amplify the physical presence of this 'portrait'.

August 2004

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