The Amazingly Fertile Mind of Dean Chetwynd

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I’m going to be flicking back to my adventures in North America now and then, because I still have stories to tell and images to show to you.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the strange and wonderful world of Sedona, Arizona artist Dean Chetwynd:

Sedona, Arizona artist, Dean Chetwynd
Just across the street from Avatar Tat2 where I got my latest skin art, is an alley with a little sign that says “Art Show”. As you step into the alley, the world tips a little to side; things get a little weird.

Turn the corner and you’ll be greeted by Dean sitting on his rickety lawn chair with a big wooden stick in his hand. He seems attached to the stick. He is surrounded by his art:

By Sedona, Arizona artist, Dean Chetwynd
It’s a little difficult to describe his style. It combines so many techniques and media that it defies classification. The themes are religio/political in the extreme:
By Sedona, Arizona artist, Dean Chetwynd - Jan Messersmith
To say that Mr. Chetwynd’s mind is fertile would be wild understatement. I couldn’t get him to talk much about his work. He did say that he was concerned that the great powers of the world (especially the USA) were, “determined to make Old Testament prophecies come true.”:
By Sedona, Arizona artist, Dean Chetwynd
That gave me a bit of a chill as I walked around snapping a few of his more spectacular works. He puts an incredible amount of detail into each piece. Inspecting one of his boards is akin to listening to American Pie and trying to figure out what the lyrics mean:
By Sedona, Arizona artist, Dean Chetwynd
He doesn’t talk a lot. I suppose he is very weary of gawkers who come to look and don’t buy anything. He said that he wasn’t looking for much money, but he wanted to get his stuff out into homes where people could look at it. I can certainly sympathise with that notion, considering the amount of time that I spend on this journal:
By Sedona, Arizona artist, Dean Chetwynd
I told him that I would love to buy several of his works to take back to Madang with me (I KNOW that we could appreciate them here!). Unfortunately, I told him. I was unable to do that because I did not have time to build the crates and arrange the shipping. It didn’t seem to matter to him:
By Sedona, Arizona artist, Dean Chetwynd
I could have spent a couple of hours there studying the bizarre symbolism in his images, but I had an appointment with pain.

If you get to Sedona, check this guy out. Buy something from him. Make him happy. He seems somehow to deserve it.

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5 Responses to “The Amazingly Fertile Mind of Dean Chetwynd”

  1. Fooling Around on My Lunch Hour | Madang - Ples Bilong Mi Says:

    […] image above is from Sedona, Arizona. Everything else is magical in Sedona. Why not […]

  2. amy margolis Says:

    i really enjoyed your article on dean chetwynd and his art work. do you have contact information on him to order some art? please let me know. thank you — amy margolis

  3. MadDog Says:

    Sorry, Amy. All I know is that his place is just across the street from Avatar Tat2 in Cottonwood, Arizona. I get the impression that he sit there waiting for someone to discover him. I Googled him and got only one hit, which was mine. He’s an “unknown”. Too bad. Try contacting tourist information services in Cottonwood. Maybe they can send someone over to his place and give him your information. He had a lot of beautiful stuff there. I only wish I could have gotten some for myself.

  4. Jaime Says:

    Maddog,
    I have a question for you this is kinda of a weird post… but I have done a search for a dean chetwynd and this post came up. You see my father at which I have never met.. his name was Dean Richard Chetwynd.This photo may possibly be of him.. although from what I recall seeing a photo of my father had redish curly hair.. anyway I found it extremely coincidental that he has the same now and the one thing I did know of my father was that he was a artist and I actually have TONS of his pieces of his work which mimic the artwork seen in your post. I read previously that you did not have a way of reaching him but thought it wouldnt hurt to ask.. all I have is a name, a photo, art work and his date of birth on my birth certificate. Look forward to hearing from you.

  5. MadDog Says:

    Jaime, There is a tattoo shop in Cottonwood Arizona called Avatar Tat2. I got my reef scene tattoo done there. You can search through the posts in the “tattoo” tag in the sidebar to read about that. Across the street and a little to the right as you are facing the street is some kind of building with an alley beside it on the left side as you are looking at it. Down that alley a few metres on the right is a yard. I think that there was a small house or a trailer there. In the yard were all of the works of art of Dean Chetwynd.

    I’d suggest that you call the tattoo shop and ask the manager to go over and see if Dean is there. Possibly you can get in contact with him that way. You might also contact the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau in Cottonwood. I wish you good luck, Jamie.