Ah, the good old Chapman brothers. If you want to offend look no further.
Exhibited at Charles Saatchi’s now infamous Sensation show with the catchy title ‘Zygotic acceleration, biogenetic, de-sublimated libidinal model’ was summed up in the exhibition catalogue as:
“genderless, self-reproducing manifestations of excess libidinal energy gone awry”.
Who can argue with that?
I first became aware of Gary Hume’s paintings at the Saatchi Sensation show of young British artists at the Royal Academy. While Damien Hirst shocked the public with his pickled shark, Hume’s work was much more subtle but no less important.
The White Cube gallery that represents him describes Hume as follows:
Gary Hume is renowned for paintings distinguished by a bright palette, reduced imagery and flat areas of seductive colour. While Hume’s paintings have always emphasised their luscious surfaces and simplified forms, many are infused with a melancholic beauty.
Hume first received critical acclaim with a body of work known as the ‘Door’ paintings. These minimal and abstract works, with their high gloss paint and insistent reflective surfaces, developed in the early 1990s into a broader set of motifs, such as the nude, the portrait, the garden, as well as a pictorial idiom drawn from childhood, with images of polar bears, snowmen, rabbits, owls and close-up faces. His subject matter broadened yet more through the mid 1990s to incorporate images from popular culture, making portraits of celebrity figures such as Tony Blackburn, Kate Moss and Patsy Kensit.
The cleric, 2000
American Tan XXVIII1, 2008
Young Woman, 1998
Funny Girl, 1998
Liberty Grip, 2008
Emerging from the Saatchi Young British Artists circus Jake and Dino Chapman have carved out a sinister corner of the art world all for themselves.
Take a step with me into their world – it’s filled with horror, mutation, apocalypse, sadism and McDonald’s. Sound like fun? Well actually humour is key to their work – a child like sense of destruction and naughtiness pervades everything.
Check out a video of their Hell installation here:
Even their most gruesome work has precedents in the ‘establishment’ – their iconic “Great deeds! Against the dead” work featured in Charles Saatchi’s Sensation show is a parody of Goya’s Disasters of War series. See their work and Goya’s original directly below:
Jake and Dinos Chapman Great Deeds! Against the Dead” 1994
Goya, “Great Deeds! Against the Dead”, 1810-20,