Is it possible at all to imagine Jake and Dinos Chapman creating artworks more shocking from what we have come to expect from them? This artistic duo became famous for the art that is deliberately shocking. It’s purposely politically incorrect, without any kind of censorship, provocative, and even offensive for some people. Miniature figures of Nazis all over the art space, mannequins of children, sometimes fused together, with genitalia in place of facial features, sex dolls, and so on. Despite the controversy surrounding their art, Jake and Dinos Chapman have been exhibited at some of the most recognized galleries and museums in the United Kingdom.
One of the most controversial artworks by Jake and Dinos Chapman is “Fucking Hell”, originally presented at White Cube in London. The artwork consisted of 9 glass cabinets arranged in a swastika formation. Inside the cabinets were tens of thousands of 2-inch high figures. Most figures were dressed in Nazi uniforms. As Jake Chapman explains the installation: It's not about the Holocaust. It’s the Nazis who are being subjected to industrial genocide. The brothers would go on to create installations similar to “Fucking Hell”.
Jake and Dinos Chapman often use nude figures as part of their installations or sculptures. And they are often objects of controversy. For example, their fibreglass work of art, entitled Piggyback, depicting two naked adolescent girls, one sitting on the shoulders of the other, was removed from Rome's MAXXI contemporary art museum. The installation was labeled as “paedo-pornographic" by a rights group protecting children. In often grotesque works by Jake and Dinos Champan, viewers can see clowns that are crucified, naked women, limbs that are hung from the trees. Still, the depiction of children’s nudity raised many eyebrows when it comes Jake and Dinos Chapman art.
Many controversial Jake and Dinos Chapman works are dealing with the Nazis and Adolf Hitler. One of the most controversial exhibitions by these two artists took place at White Cube in 2008 and it was entitled If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be. This exhibition featured, among other works, the amateurish Hitler paintings, on which they have painted rainbow skies, smiley faces and colorful stars and flowers. This is what Jake Chapman told about the work: If hell exists and Hitler is there, I think he is turning in his grave.
Jake and Dinos Chapman are associated with Young British Artists. They first gained recognition with their first solo installation, We Are Artists (1992), in which they stenciled an anti-aesthetic manifesto onto a mud-splattered wall at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in London. Their work can be described as anti-aesthetical, and highly political. They refuse to be politically correct in their art, and by doing so, they deconstruct strong myths and political narratives on many issues. Both Jake and Dinos live and work in London.
Featured Images: Jake and Dinos Chapman - Who’s Afraid of Red, White and Black (courtesu of artsy.net), 2013; Jake and Dinos Chapman – Tragic Anatomies, 1996 (courtesy of pigtailsinpaint.com); Jake and Dinos Chapman - Kino Club, 2013 (courtesy of artsy.net). All Images used for illustrative purposes only.