Dorothy is a new series of works by Vancouver-based artist Myfanwy MacLeod. The exhibition at Satellite Gallery features origami sculptures and photographs of origami designs, each made from pages of a Playboy magazine in which Vancouver-born playmate, Dorothy Stratten, appears as a centerfold. Through a process of folding and unfolding, the works come to represent what Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has stated constitutes the “ideal” centerfold—one in which “a situation is suggested: the presence of someone not in the picture.”
Dorothy Stratten (1960 -1980) was “discovered” by her future husband and manager Paul Snider while working at a Dairy Queen on East Hastings Street. After Snider sent photos of her to Playboy, Stratten was invited to Los Angeles, where she became Playmate of the Month for August 1979, and Playmate of the Year in 1980. She subsequently became involved with filmmaker Peter Bogdonavich, and after ending her marriage, was murdered by Snider, who then committed suicide.
Her grisly death inspired Bob Fosse’s film Star 80 (1983) as well as the TV movie Death of a Centerfold: The Dorothy Stratten Story (1981). Stratten was also the subject of a book by Bogdonavich written four years after her death, titled The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten 1960-1980. In it, Bogdanovich traces the roots of the male fantasy of the innocent girl-next-door turned screen goddess and sex symbol, a fantasy repeatedly re-staged by both Hollywood and Playboy.
About the Artist
Myfanwy MacLeod was born in London, Ontario, and received an undergraduate degree from Concordia University (Montreal) in 1990 and an MFA from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) in 1995. She has held teaching positions at UBC, the University of Western Ontario (London), and the Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver). Over the past fifteen years MacLeod has exhibited throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, with recent exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada and Mass MoCa. She is the recipient of a VIVA award from the Doris and Jack Shadbolt Foundation in 1999. She was awarded the City of Vancouver artist studio residency (2002–2005) and the Glenfiddich Distillery artist-in-residence program (2005).
In 2008, MacLeod was commissioned to create a public sculpture for the City of Vancouver’s Olympic and Paralympic public art program. The Birds were permanently installed in April 2010. Her work is held in public collections, including the national gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and in numerous private Canadian collections. MacLeod is currently working on a solo show that opens at Museum London in 2013 and at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2014. She is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.