Jake and Dinos Chapman create work that aims to be deliberately shocking, they have even used original watercolors by Adolf Hitler in a series of works in 2008. In the mid 1990’s, their sculptures were included in the YBA showcase exhibitions “Brilliant!” and “Sensation”. The two brothers were also nominated for the annual Turner Prize. In 2013 one of their paintings (One Day You Will No Longer Be Loved III) was used as the subject for a Channel 4 special of Derren Brown (The Great Art Robbery.)
Jake was born in Cheltenham and Dinos was born in London, their mother being an orthodox Greek Cypriot and their father an English art teacher. They were brought up in Cheltenham, but later moved Hastings where they attended William Parker School. Dinos studied at the Ravensbourne College of Art, from 1980 – 1983, and Jake studies the North East London Polytechnic, from 1985 – 1988. Later they both enrolled into a school together (The Royal College of Art) they studied there from 1988 – 1990, while there they worked as assistants to Gilbert and George.
They began collaborating in 1991, for most of their work they have made plastic/fiberglass mannequins. One of their earlier pieces, which was inspired by Francisco Goya, consisted of 83 scenes of torture, disfigurement and pain, similar to Goya’s etchings. They have even turned some of their plastic models into life-sized works of art such as The Disasters of War.
The chapman brothers have always continued this theme of the anatomical, pornographic and grotesque, they have made mannequins of children with genitalia in place of facial features, sometimes a group of children fused together. Their sculpture “Hell” (2000) consisted of a large number of miniature figures of Nazi’s arranged in nine glass cases lay out in the shape of a swastika. In 2003, in “Insult to Injury”, they altered a set of Goya’s etchings by adding funny faces. “As a protest against this piece, Aaron Barschak (who later gate-crashed Prince William’s 21st birthday party dressed as Osama bin Laden in a frock) threw a pot of red paint over Jake Chapman during a talk he was giving in May 2003.”
The Chapman brother’s body of work has also referenced work by William Blake, Auguste Rodin and Nicolas Poussin.