I tend to plonk art exhibitions in the kids chair, in the back of my Volvo with a safety belt on… I never go as much as I’d like. I will bang on about going and how much I loved the artists past shows (which are usually back in 2000 or something during Art GCSE) but the fact is it is VERY difficult to find the time. Especially if an exhibition is the other side of London and only open weekdays 10-6 and Saturdays. As much as I like to think that I will be hopping on a barely working tube and travelling to East London on my Saturday – the reality is, I will be recovering from getting over excited the night before.
When I heard the Chapman Brothers were exhibiting in The White Cube I managed to sort myself out and make it to East London…. on a Saturday! They are, after all, two of my favourite contemporary artists.
As always – their ability to beautify and somehow pacify the ugly and disturbing blew me away.
Paintings and sculptures lead to the backs of about a dozen children in matching tracksuits – each one menacingly positioned. They are glaring at a canvas which hangs on the furthest wall. You soon realise these children are in fact mutated zombies.
The tracksuit has a swastika and the words ‘nothing they teach us’ sown on. This distortion of good and evil is continued upstairs where cheap and slightly deformed religious portraits hang above horrifying religious models i.e. a Jesus with horns etc. I left in a trance.
Dinos and Jake worked separately on this exhibition, but you would never be able to tell – the work is ridiculously similar! This got me thinking about a VERY embarrassing moment… It would seem their art is not the ONLY thing difficult to identify…
I was once boozing in a bar after an exhibition when I spotted ‘a Chapman brother’, I b-lined for him and began to flirt outrageously… He seemed quite responsive, asking if he could take me out for dinner, telling me what shiny eyes I had and all that jazz. I thought I was in there, in fact I basically thought I was THE Tate.
My boyfriend (at the time) then came up to me and said ‘Grace – what the hell are you doing?’ I whispered ‘Piss Off – I am in there with a Chapman brother’ He burst out laughing and practically screamed ‘That’s not a Chapman brother, that’s the door bouncer!’
Oh well! It seems I will remain a paying visitor of their exhibitions, although this one is actually free… Make sure you go and see Jake or Dinos (NOT the doorman) Chapman at The White Cube NOW!