Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jake and Dinos Chapman
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 as recorded by Francisco Goya in his series of etchings, 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.
The Chapman brothers continued the theme of anatomical alteration with a series of mannequins of children, sometimes fused together, with genitalia in place of facial features. These works had titles which reflected the combined humour and capacity to shock often considered so typical of the brothers' work, such as Fuckface and Two-Faced Cunt.
Hell (2000) saw a return to their earlier miniature form. It consisted of a large number of very small models of Nazis engaged in acts of torture arranged in nine glass cases laid out in the shape of a swastika.
The brothers have often been the subject of controversy. Aside from complaints on the grounds of bad taste , there were protests in 2003 when they returned to Goya's Disasters of War, directly altering a set of prints of the etchings purchased by the Chapmans by adding funny faces, an act described by some as "defacement". Ostensibly as a protest against this piece, Aaron Barschak (who later became famous for gate-crashing 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' work often references work by earlier artists. As well as pieces based directly on Goya, much of their work has an affinity with that of Hieronymus Bosch, and they have also referenced pieces by William Blake, Auguste Rodin and Nicolas Poussin. In Ubermensch (1995), a sculpture of Stephen Hawking sat precariously on top of a cliff; this has been seen as a reference to Edwin Landseer's Monarch of the Glen.
The Chapman brothers were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2003.
- Artist profile at the BBC
- A brief profile by Alison Roberts in the Observer
- "Art protester hurls paint at Chapman" - story in the Telegraph
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