Jake & Dinos Chapman

Siblings and long-time collaborators who confront religious tropes and social issues with satirical installation, sculpture and print.

Jake and Dinos Chapman sat side-by-side in a room, empty other than a four headed sculpture
Jake and Dinos Chapman focusing on a sculpture on a desk in their studio
Jake and Dinos Chapman looking sternly at the camera, stood behind a sculpture of animals mating
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Jake (b. 1966) and Dinos (b. 1962) Chapman, also known as the Chapman Brothers, are British visual artists who live and work between London and Oxfordshire, UK.

Achievements

In 2003, the duo were shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize for their installation Sex and Death.

Exhibitions

Renowned for deliberately shocking artwork and antics, the brothers exhibited a collection of Adolf Hitler's landscape paintings at London's White Cube in 2008 - claiming they wanted to explore the dictator's psychology.

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Practice overview

Jake and Dinos Chapman began their collaborative career in 1988 by enrolling together at the Royal College of Art. From the get-go, they were involved with one of the most famous partnerships, working as assistants to British modern art provocateurs Gilbert & George. Since then, the Chapmans’ artwork has had a strange and disturbing identity of its own. Their fondness for the sexually explicit, the grotesque and the politically sensitive helped catapult them to fame - attracting outrage in the popular press as well as accolades in the art world. Whether creating manikins of children with genitalia for noses, or buying and altering paintings by Adolf Hitler himself, the work is designed to make the viewer stop and stare.

Behind the provocations though, is a careful and perceptive oeuvre that surgically dissects the absurdities and hypocrisies of the world. Much is built around the brothers’ ongoing relationship with the great Spanish artist Francisco de Goya - whose fascination with religion, social hypocrisy and violence inspires much of their art. From heavily detailed works on paper, to vitrines crammed with toy soldiers trapped in gruesome Hells, the Chapman’s output over the past quarter of a century always refuses any kind of easy moral stance. The brothers offer few, if any, answers, but their works, without fail, demand the viewer’s attention. Even their most puerile seeming jokes are questions that cut to the heart of modernity. How can we be outraged by the manikins of Tragic Anatomies in a society that routinely sexualizes children? Does capitalism, for all its disinterest in belief, amount to a religion of its own? And, perhaps, above all, why do certain things make us uncomfortable?

“When people talk about our work, the thing they sometimes forget is that it’s 99% funny and 1% whatever else." Jake and Dinos Chapman