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Marvin Tate

Step 1: Launch the music by playing the detail from the track The Process by Marvin Tate & Joseph Clayton Mills

Step 2: Click on the image to see the works up close

Step 3: See the short films below presenting Marvin Tate

Step 4: Read Marvin Tate's short biography

Step 5: Set up an appointment to see / acquire a piece by sending and email

"As a self-taught artist, I’ve always found inspiration through my daily surroundings. The techniques I use are intuitive. I’ve always had a kinship for folksy aesthetics, outsiders and although frowned upon in my working-class upbringing; individualism. My art is personal and sometimes whimsical, but my emotions are universal. I create what I cannot verbally commit to, a truism that is always in motion. I give voice to complex issues by using familiarity, such as punch holes from junk mail, cardboard shoe inserts from a former employee or paper bag handles from the grocer to express a longing for community."

- Marvin Tate

Born in Chicago on December 27, 1959, artist Marvin Tate is known for his biographical art in the form of assemblage, dioramas, portraits and landscapes composed of found objects and fragments from everyday life. A North Lawndale native, Tate grew up in a home without a TV or radio, where his family entertained one another with songbooks and reading aloud. Tate remembers hours spent exploring abandoned buildings, walking the streets of changing neighborhoods and playing in his mother’s closet, all existential journeys filled with fear, excitement and materials that would later inform his work.


Tate's work is rooted in folklore, the culture of storefront churches, a distant train or a bevy of geese flying over North Lawndale. Finding beauty and subtlety in everyday life, objects and people is inherent in his narrative, which speaks of personal and family history while addressing a broader collective memory through social and political commentary. 

Tate's residency at Chicago's famed Hideout with musical guests: Mikel Avery, Khari Lemuel (The Black Monks of Mississippi), Dan Bitney, Fred Lonberg Holms, Juan Dies (The Sones of Mexico), P Michael (Ono), Vell Mullens of Moses Gunn, George Blaize, Adam Fitz and Avery R. Young. / Video from the June 18th "Improvisations and Freak-outs.

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