Jake and Dinos Chapman make iconoclastic sculptures, prints and installations that examine, with searing wit and energy, contemporary politics, religion and morality. Working together since their graduation from the Royal College of Art in 1990, the Chapmans first received critical acclaim in 1991 for a diorama sculpture entitled Disasters of War created out of remodelled plastic figurines enacting scenes from Goya’s Disasters of War etchings. Arguably their most ambitious work was Hell (1999), an immense tabletop tableau, peopled with over 30,000 remodelled, two-inch-high figures, many in Nazi uniforms and performing egregious acts of cruelty. The work combined historical, religious and mythic narratives to present an apocalyptic snapshot of the twentieth century. Tragically this work was destroyed in the MOMART fire in 2004 and the Chapmans rebuked by saying they would make another, more ambitious in scale and detail — the result of which was Fucking Hell (2008). The interim saw The Chapman Family Collection (2002), comprised of a group of sculptures that bring to mind the loot from a Victorian explorer’s trophy bag, yet also portraying characters from McDonald’s. The conflation of the exotic fetish and the cheap fast-food give-away, imperialism and globalization, created a powerful sense of dislocation. Jake Chapman was born in 1966 in Cheltenham; Dinos Chapman in 1962 in London. They live and work in London.

Jake & Dinos Chapman, Fucking Hell, 2008.
photos : Hugo Glendinning & Stephen White © Jake & Dinos Chapman, permission | courtesy White Cube, Londres
This article also appears in the issue 70 - Miniature

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