Jake and Dinos Chapman: Offending Taste
Watch the artist duo with a flair for the bizarre, Jake and Dinos Chapman, on moulding set symbols into something quite surprising, how Ronald McDonald ended up becoming a pariah, and why they prefer to offend rather than create taste. Read more …
Ronald McDonald started out as an idealistic libertarian, because he offered cheap food to people who could not afford it. With time, however, the image of McDonald changed radically, and he became “the clown who lost his humour – and also responsible for the end of the world.” The irony of this drastic change is of great interest to Jake and Dinos Chapman, who like to take generic icons – such as smileys and swastikas – and twist them until they break: “We are overloading these symbolic icons to a point where they can no longer say anything.”
“If you add funny puppy dogs over an image of someone being tortured, then in a sense what we’re doing is that we’re asking whether the pathos of the Goya work can be taken seriously,” says Jake Chapman about their approach to Francisco Goya to whose surreal and dark paintings, brim-full of pathos, they add unexpected elements. The brothers argue that by “rectifying” works by such a revered artist they also “convert the pathos of Goya into something much more pessimistic and cynical, and much more brutally undermining.”
Iakovos “Jake” (b. 1966) and Konstantinos “Dinos” (b. 1962) are English visual artists, often known as the Chapman Brothers, who began their collaboration in 1991. The brothers often use plastic models or fibreglass mannequins in their work, exploring the theme of the anatomical and pornographic grotesque. They are known for their deliberately shocking and controversial subject matter, including the series of works featured in this video, which appropriated 13 original watercolours by Adolf Hitler, to which they had added hippie motifs: ‘If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be’ (White Cube, 2008). Similarly, they had previously manipulated a selection of Spanish painter Francisco Goya’s drawings in the series ‘The Disaster of War’ (1999) with chilling and sometimes comic effect. They have exhibited extensively, including solo shows at Tate Britain (2007), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2005) and PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2000). Both live and work in London.
For more about Jake and Dinos Chapman see here: http://jakeanddinoschapman.com/everything/
Jake and Dinos Chapman were interviewed by Christian Lund at David Risley Gallery, Copenhagen in connection to the exhibition ‘Come, Hell or High Water’ in November 2014.
Camera: Nikolaj Jungersen
Edited by: Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015
Supported by Nordea-fonden