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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 08:06 GMT 09:06 UK
Complex world of Chapman brothers

By Keily Oakes
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Jake Chapman
Jake Chapman tends to do most of the talking for the brothers
BBC News Online meets artist Jake Chapman, one of the notorious Chapman brothers, as the pair find themselves shortlisted for the Turner Prize.

The Chapman brothers have made their name with controversial pieces of art including mutilated bodies in Great Deeds Against the Dead and Nazi soldiers molesting each other in the work Hell.

They are not even adverse to bastardising Goya's Disasters of War or demonising McDonald's in Works from the Chapman Family Collection.

But even away from their art the brothers do little to temper their image of the "bad boys of art", with Jake not afraid to offend.

Younger brother Dinos tends to keep his opinions to himself allowing Jake to speak for them both.

The Chapman Family Collection
The Chapman Family Collection took a swipe at McDonald's
Now the pair have been shortlisted for the Turner Prize their yet-to-be-created entry is sure to spark debate as well as opening up modern art to new audiences.

But this is not necessarily a good move according to Jake, who detests the notion of people "walking in off the street" to admire his work, saying their opinions and analysis are all but worthless.

"The reason I say that is not because I intend to offend people who have a casual encounter with art because causal encounters can be very rewarding and interesting," he says.

"But I'm obsessed with countering the idea that it's necessary to those people's lives and the necessity is brought to bear by people who have an institutional interest in art.


I'm 50% an observer of the work, so I can't really account for the meaning of the work
Jake Chapman
"They have this notion that art will somehow produce the true condition of people's lives in a very ultra-bourgeois way."

He adds that he holds those opinions to annoy people who believe art has some kind of "redemptive religion for poor people from council estates who then go off and perhaps instead of using MFI will use Ikea".

Jake Chapman believes the brothers' work can only be viewed in a restrictive way when exhibited.

It is, he says, because the viewer cannot understand the creative process that went into it.

He explains: "The question is that work is produced within a certain condition, purpose and ambition.

Images and information from this year's shortlist

"But of course that work is going to fail those ambitions because the work is going to operate on its own in isolation from its two daddies.

"Our intentions are very quickly dropped."


Hell by Jake and Dinos Chapman
Hell was bought by Charles Saatchi
Jake admits working with Dinos often leads to differences of opinion about how the end result works, what it means and what is its function.

"The point about two people making the work is that 50% of the work is made by the other person," he saus.

"I'm 50% an observer of the work, so I can't really account for the meaning of the work."

The creative process for the pair is an extremely quick one, according to Jake, with one set of video installations taking just one day to create.

He added that he does not go out looking for inspiration, saying "he does not know what inspiration really is".

Controversial duo on Turner list
29 May 03  |  Entertainment
Keith Tyson wins 2002 Turner
09 Dec 02  |  Entertainment
Minister attacks Turner art
31 Oct 02  |  Entertainment
Eyes on the Turner Prize
01 Nov 02  |  Newsmakers
Saatchi: Turner Prize is 'claptrap'
25 Nov 02  |  Entertainment
Porn and Perspex at the Turner Prize
29 Oct 02  |  Entertainment


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