“Dogman” and “Rabbitgirl”

William Wegman isn’t the only artist to make art of his Weimaraners.  Gillie And Marc Schattner, called “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s History” by the New York Times, are Australian contemporary artists most noted for their now-iconic sculptures of “Dogman” and “Rabbitgirl,” autobiographical “stand-ins” that represent the couple’s personalities. More than interpretations of the artists’ personas, however, the rabbit/Weimaraner pairings celebrate the powerful relationship between man and dog. 

Perhaps the collaboration works because the spark between Gillie and Marc was instantly recognized. A nurse from England, Gillie met Marc, a guy from the suburbs of Melbourne, on a film shoot in Hong Kong, and seven days later, they ran off to Nepal and were married in the foothills of Mount Everest. Twenty-seven years and two children later, the couple has worked side by side creating art as one – a tall order when many couples can’t agree on how to hang wallpaper.

The pair have received eight art commissions for the streets of New York City since 2016, and next month, they will be unveiling  “Statues for Equality” at Rockefeller Plaza, a depiction of ten powerful women, including Beyoncé and Angelina Jolie, which they hope highlights the gender gap in the city’s public statues, of which, they say, only 3 percent are women.

The animal-head-on-a-human-body concept came while on a family holiday in Egypt. The couple was inspired by the ancient Egyptian art practice of Theriocephaly, or putting the head of an animal on the body of a human or deity in the belief that the human would evoke the qualities of the animal.  Marc would say in an article for Bluethumb Art Gallery, an Australian online art marketplace: “Whenever we were down, we would look to our dog, whose unconditional love and happiness is so infectious.”

“Indy,” a Weimaraner, was that dog, and that, perhaps, is why “Dogman” has the head of a Weimaraner. In the same article, Marc added, “In the wild, dogs hunt and kill rabbits, but in this world the rules are discarded and new possibilities open up.”

Rabbitgirl and Dogman sculptures and painting can now be found in over 500 public collections and museums around the world.

We found a video interview of the couple in which they discuss their Rhino Project:

Image: “They were always side by side” in bronze is available for purchase on the artists’ website


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