Celebrating Contemporary: Jake and Dinos Chapman's The Chapman Family Collection

The final week of Celebrating Contemporary kicks off with Jake and Dinos Chapman's collection of apparently-African sculptures

Jake and Dinos Chapman, The Chapman Family Collection, 2002 © The artists

Jake and Dinos Chapman, The Chapman Family Collection, 2002

The final week of our Celebrating Contemporary season begins with a collection of apparently-African sculptures by brother artists Jake and Dinos Chapman.

The work

Comprising 34 carved-wood sculptures, totems and artefacts, The Chapman Family Collection claims to be 'an extraordinary assemblage of rare ethnographic and reliquary fetish objects that subsequent generations of the Chapman family have diligently added to over a period of seventy years.'

In fact, the objects were created by the Chapman brothers themselves, and are united by a common theme: the use of the icons, logos and symbolism of the McDonald's Corporation. Each piece features visual references to the fast food chain, from the 'golden arches' to the face of Ronald McDonald.

The Collection draws parallels between the 'authentic' values of the past and those of modern culture, whether between Western capitalism and the colonial consumption of art, or the visual language of brands and religious iconography. The Chapman Family Collection was purchased for the Tate Collection in 2007 with help from the Art Fund.

The artist

The brothers Iakovos and Konstantinos Chapman, also known as Jake and Dinos, are British artists based in London. They began working together after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1990, and their 1991 sculpture 'Disasters of War', inspired by Goya's etchings of the same name, attracted widespread critical acclaim.

Their artwork is typically provocative, such as Death, a sculpture depicting two sex dolls on a blow-up bed, and a collection of (apparently) original watercolours by Adolf Hitler. They were nominated for the Turner Prize in 2003, but lost out to Grayson Perry.

Did you know?

Jake and Dinos were scheduled to play Big Brother in the 2008 Channel 4 series Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, which featured a different celebrity playing the role each day. They withdrew from the programme for undisclosed reasons.

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