Jake and Dinos Chapman
Iakovos "Jake" Chapman (born 1966) and Konstantinos "Dinos" Chapman (born 1962) are English visual artists, often known as the Chapman Brothers, who work together as a collaborative sibling duo. Their subject matter is often deliberately shocking, including, in 2008, a series of works that appropriated original watercolours by Adolf Hitler. In the mid-1990s, their sculptures were included in the YBA showcase exhibitions Brilliant! and Sensation. In 2003, the two were nominated for the annual Turner Prize but lost out to Grayson Perry.
Lives and careers
Jake Chapman was born in Cheltenham and Dinos Chapman in London. Their father was a British art teacher and their mother an orthodox Greek Cypriot (hence "Jake" an anglicized diminutive of the orthodox Iakovos, and "Dinos", a typical diminutive of the orthodox Konstantinos). They were brought up in Cheltenham but moved to Hastings where they attended a local comprehensive (William Parker School). Dinos studied at the Ravensbourne College of Art (1979–81), Jake at the North East London Polytechnic (1985–88) before both together enrolled at The Royal College of Art (1988–90), when they also worked as assistants to the artists Gilbert and George.
They began their own collaboration in 1991. The brothers have often made pieces with plastic models or fibreglass mannequins of people. An early piece consisted of eighty-three scenes of torture and disfigurement similar to those recorded by Francisco Goya in his series of etchings, The Disasters of War (a work they later returned to) rendered into small three-dimensional plastic models. One of these was later turned into a life-size work, Great Deeds Against the Dead, shown along with Zygotic Acceleration, Biogenetic, De-Sublimated Libidinal Model (Enlarged x 1000) at the Sensation exhibition in 1997.
The Chapman brothers continued the theme of anatomical and pornographic grotesque with a series of mannequins of children, sometimes fused together, with genitalia in place of facial features. Their sculpture Hell (2000) consisted of a large number of miniature figures of Nazis arranged in nine glass cases laid out in the shape of a swastika. In 2003, with a series of works named Insult to Injury, they altered a set of Goya's etchings by adding funny faces. As a protest against this piece, Aaron Barschak (who later gate-crashed Prince William's 21st birthday party dressed as Osama bin Laden in a frock) threw a pot of red paint over Jake Chapman during a talk he was giving in May 2003. The Chapmans' oeuvre has also referenced work by William Blake, Auguste Rodin and Nicolas Poussin. Jake Chapman has published a number of catalogue essays and pieces of art criticism in his own right, as well as a book, Meatphysics (Creation Books, 2003). The brothers have also designed a label for Becks beer as part of a series of limited edition labels produced by contemporary artists. Using a title from the Tim Burton film, in 2004 they curated A Nightmare Before Christmas as part of the occasional All Tomorrow's Parties music festival at Camber Sands.
The Rape of Creativity
From April – June 2003, the Chapmans held a solo show at Modern Art Oxford entitled The Rape of Creativity in which "the enfants terribles of Britart, bought a mint collection of Goya's most celebrated prints - and set about systematically defacing them". The Francisco Goya prints referred to his Disasters of War set of 80 etchings. The duo named their newly defaced works Insult to Injury. BBC described more of the exhibition's art: "Drawings of mutant Ronald McDonalds, a bronze sculpture of a painting showing a sad-faced Hitler in clown make-up and a major installation featuring a knackered old caravan and fake dog turds." While The Daily Telegraph commented that the Chapman brothers had "managed to raise the hackles of art historians by violating something much more sacred to the art world than the human body - another work of art", they also noted that the effect of their work was powerful.
The Chapman brothers were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2003. As well as including Insult to Injury, their Turner Prize exhibit debuted two new works Sex and Death. Sex directly referenced their previous work Great Deeds against the Dead. The original work shows three dismembered corpses hanging from a tree, Sex shows the same scenario, but in a heightened state of decay. Additionally clown's noses are now present on the skulls of the corpses; snakes, rats and insects (like those found in joke shops) cover the piece. Death is two sex dolls, placed on top of each other, head-to-toe in the 69 sex position: despite appearing to be made of plastic it is in fact cast in bronze and painted to look like plastic.
That year the prize was eventually won by Grayson Perry.
On 24 May 2004, a fire in a storage warehouse destroyed many works from the Saatchi collection including Hell. The brothers subsequently made a very similar, though more extensive, work called Fucking Hell.
Disputes with journalists
In 2007, they were criticised by journalist Johann Hari for adopting an anti-Enlightenment philosophy, and for Jake Chapman saying that the boys who murdered Liverpool toddler James Bulger performed "a good social service". This followed a public media brawl between Jake Chapman and journalist Carole Cadwalladr in The Observer and on the internet the previous year. Cadwalladr told readers that Chapman threw her out of their studio. Jake publicly replied, "You may grace your readers with the meek tones of plum-mouthed middle-Englanders, but don’t send them round to my studio I’ll make [...] mince meat out of them, ha ha ha."
Art by Adolf Hitler
In May 2008, White Cube gallery exhibited 13 apparently authenticated watercolours painted by Adolf Hitler, to which the brothers had added hippie motifs. Jake Chapman described most of the dictator's works as "awful landscapes" which they had "prettified". Also included in the exhibition was Fucking Hell, the (somewhat altered) remake of Hell, and a series of doctored eighteenth and nineteenth century-style aristocratic portraits in oils.
Letter to Culture Secretary
On 1 October 2010, in an open letter to the British government's Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt — co-signed by a further 27 previous Turner prize nominees, and 19 winners – the brothers opposed any future cuts in public funding for the arts. In the letter the cosignatories described the arts in Britain as a "remarkable and fertile landscape of culture and creativity."
In 2012, to go alongside the AKA Peace Exhibition at the ICA Art Below showcased selected works from the AKA Peace series on the London Underground. "AKA Peace" originally conceived by photographer Bran Symondson and now curated by Jake Chapman, is an exhibition of new works made specially for The Peace One Day Project 2012, bringing together a group of Contemporary Artists, all of whom agreed to transform a decommissioned AK-47 assault rifle, refashioning into artworks. Artists work that was featured included: Laila Shawa, Nancy Fouts, Charming Baker, Bran Symondson, Langlands & Bell, Mat Collishaw, and Antony Micallef
Jake married the fashion model Rosemary Ferguson at a ceremony at Christ Church, Spitalfields, in London, in 2004. Guests at the wedding included Kate Moss, Sadie Frost, musician Noel Gallagher’s ex-wife Meg Mathews and artist Sam Taylor-Wood. Ferguson gave birth to their first child in 2005.
The Chapmen live in Filkins, Oxfordshire, in a Victorian farmhouse which was restored by architects Waugh Thistleton, it includes guest accommodation and an open-plan kitchen, dining area and a heated swimming pool "filled with natural well water." In July 2006, Furzey Hall Farm was offered for sale, prior to development, for £1.25 million.
Dinos is married to Tiphaine de Lussy, they have two children. They live in a terraced house in Spitalfields, London. The couple were involved in the renovation of the house, they "chose iroko for the floors; a warm Brazilian wood normally used in ship keels."
- ,"UEL Alumni - Arts Showcase".
- End game. British contemporary art from the Chaney family collection, exhibition Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Yale University Press, New Haven/London 2008, p. 68.
- Jones, Jonathan. Look What We Did, The Guardian, 31 March 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- Sumpter, Helen. , BBC, 17 April 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- Dorment, Richard. Inspired Vandalism, The Telegraph, 27 May 2003. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- Lynn Barber "How I suffered for art's sake", The Observer, 1 October 2006, accessed 3 August 2008.
- Johann Hari "The art of subverting the Enlightenment", The Independent, 5 February 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2007
- "Meet the real brothers grim", The Observer, 8 October 2006
- (3 August 2009). Jake Chapman vs. journo Carole Cadwalladr: Battling it out in the mosh pit, Art Design Publicity. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
- "Hitler gets Chapman treatment as Hell rises from the ashes" The Guardian, 30 May 2008, retrieved 25 February 2009
- Brooks, Richard (25 May 2008). "Tracey Emin puts on erotic show for Royal Academy". The Times (London). Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- "The art of Adolf Hitler (with a little help from the Chapman brothers)" The Independent, 30 May 2008, retrieved 25 February 2009.
- Peter Walker, "Turner prize winners lead protest against arts cutbacks," The Guardian, 1 October 2010.
- "Peace One Day’s 2012 Art Project". peaceoneday.org. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "AKA BELOW". artbelow.org.uk. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "AKA BELOW ON DISPLAY". artbelow.org.uk. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Waugh Thistleton Architects, "Furzey Hall Farm." Retrieved, 31 August 2010
- Anna Tyzack, "For sale: Furzey Hall Farm," Country Life, 17 July 2006
- Danielle Demetriou, "My Home: Dinos Chapman, artist," The Independent, 13 June 2007
- "Media Diversity UK". E-activist.com. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (July 2011)|
- The duo's official website
- The Chapmans on White Cube website
- BBC Collective Video interview with The Chapmans filmed in White Cube
- Jake and Dinos Chapman: Bad Art for Bad People - exhibition at Tate Liverpool, December 2006 - March 2007
- Turner Prize 2003 Shortlist
- Dinos Chapman on Artcyclopedia
- The art of subverting the Enlightenment - A harsh critique of the Chapmans' philosophy
- Interview by Emily Bearn
- interview by Maia Damianovic
- The IoS PROFILE: Jake and Dinos Chapman
- A brief profile by Alison Roberts in the Observer
- "Art protester hurls paint at Chapman" - story in the Telegraph
- Interview by Matt Lippiatt 2005