chapman brothers…

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.

History of the Baphomet…

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The term Baphomet is a word derived from the medical Latin word “Baphometh” this is usually a term used to describe or explain a foreign deity an “idol” of sorts. In the 14th century the Knights Templar were accused of worshiping this deity, and subsequently it was incorporated into disparate occult and mystical traditions. It appeared as a term for a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar.

The name didn’t become popular in English usage until the 19th century, when it was debated and speculated that it was the reason for the suppression of the Templars.

Since 1856, the name “Baphomet” has been associated with a “Sabbatic Goat”(like the one and the beginning of this post); it contains elements representing the “sum total of the universe” (e.g. male and female, good and evil, etc.)

The name Baphomet appeared in July 1098 in a letter by the crusader Anselm of Ribemont:

Sequenti die aurora apparente, altis vocibus Baphomethinvocaverunt; et nos Deum nostrum in cordibus nostris deprecantes, impetum facientes in eos, de muris civitatis omnes expulimus.

As the next day dawned, they called loudly upon Baphometh; and we prayed silently in our hearts to God, then we attacked and forced all of them outside the city walls.

The word “Bafumarias” was used by a chronicler of the First Crusade, Raymond of Aguilers, as a name for the mosques. In 1195 the name “Bafometz” appeared in an Occitan poem “Senhors, per los noshers peccatz” (troubadour Gavaudan). In 1250 a poem bewailing the defeat of the Seventh Crusade by Austorc d’Aorlhac refers to “Bafomet.” De Bafomet is also the title of one of four surviving chapters of an Occitan translation of Ramon Llull’s earliest known work, the Libre de la doctrina pueril, “book on the instruction of children”.

On Friday October 13, 1307 the medieval order of the Knights Templar was suppressed by King Philip IV of France, he had many French Templars arrested, followed by tortures that lead to confessions. There had been over 100 charges against the Templars, most of which were the same as the ones leveled against the Cathars and many of the King’s enemies, he had earlier kidnapped Pope Boniface VIII and charged him with near identical offenses of heresy, spitting and urinating on the cross, and sodomy. These kinds of acts were intended to simulate the sort of humiliation and torture that a Crusader could be subjected to if captured by the Saracens, where they were taught how to commit apostasy “with the mind only and not with the heart”. Similarly Michael Haag suggests that the simulated worship of Baphomet did indeed form part of a Templar initiation ritual.

The indictment (acte d’accusation) published by the court of Rome set forth … “that in all the provinces they had idols, that is to say, heads, some of which had three faces, others but one; sometimes, it was a human skull … That in their assemblies, and especially in their grand chapters, they worshipped the idol as a god, as their saviour, saying that this head could save them, that it bestowed on the order all its wealth, made the trees flower, and the plants of the earth to sprout forth.”

The name “Baphomet” came up several times in the confessions of the Templars, in the book The Knights Templar and their Myth written by Peter Partner in 1987 he states that  “In the trial of the Templars one of their main charges was their supposed worship of a heathen idol-head known as a ‘Baphomet’ (‘Baphomet’ = Mahomet).” the description of this “object” changed from confession to confession, some Templars even denied any knowledge of it at all. Others, under torture, described it as being a severed head, a cat, or a head with three faces. It was know that the Templars possessed several silver-gilt heads as reliquaries, some were marked/named including one marked capud lviiim, another said to be St. Euphemia, and possibly the actual head of Hugues de Payens (first grand master of the Knights Templar).

Gauserand de Montpesant, a knight of Provence, said that their superior showed him an idol made in the form of Baffomet; another, named Raymond Rubei, described it as a wooden head, on which the figure of Baphomet was painted, and adds, “that he worshipped it by kissing its feet, and exclaiming, ‘Yalla,’ which was,” he says, “verbum Saracenorum,” a word taken from the Saracens. A Templar of Florence declared that, in the secret chapters of the order, one brother said to the other, showing the idol, “Adore this head—this head is your god and your Mahomet.”

Modern scholars including Peter Partner and Malcolm Barber say that the name “Baphomet” was an Old French corruption of the name Muhammad, which leads us to believe that some of the Templars, through their long military occupation of the Outremer, had begun incorporating Islamic ideas into their belief system, and this is what was seen and later documented as heresy by the inquisitors. Alain Demurger rejects the idea that the Templars could have adopted the doctrines of their enemies. Helen Nicholson wrote that the charges were essentially “manipulative” the Templars “were accused of becoming fairy-tale Muslims.” medieval Christians believed that Muslims worshiped idols and objects and that they worshipped Muhammed as God, with mahomet becoming mammet in English, meaning an idol or false god. This idol worship is attributed to Muslims in several chansons de geste. An example of this are the gods Bafum e Travagan in a Provençal poem on the life of St. Honorat, completed in 1300. In the Chanson de Simon Pouille, written before 1235, a Saracen idol is called Bafumetz

 

confinement part 2…

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This was the second sample I done using string to “cage” the mannequin but this time I also used bandages, at this point I was planning for the photo shoot and was trying to picture different things I could do and the different types of images I could take.

I like how the string and the bandages look next to each other, I feel the string looks tighter and stronger vs. the bandage, and it would press and burn the skin, whereas the bandages would just softly lay on top, but visually the bandages offer up something more, especially since we associate them with injuries and as a way to “fix something which is broken”, so using them almost tells a story and obviously makes the viewer wonder.

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confinement…

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Throughout this project I have liked/enjoyed the idea of being caged or trapped in something whether literal or emotionally, possibly even spiritually. I’ve always dabbled a bit into this within my imagery and samples, but this is more of an obvious example of this, by wrapping the mannequin in string you “cage” it but the ironic thing is that its already “caged” because the mannequin itself can’t just get p and easily move anyway, so you’re trapping something that is already closed off and caged anyway.

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I like the way these pictures came out and I wanted to use this string for the photo shoot I done, but due to a short time frame and a lack of notice I couldn’t.

savage beauty…

Even though this is an exhibition I went to a year ago, for completely different reasons, this is this a trip I find inspiring, at the time I went because my sole focus was on fashion, and even though this is still something I am interested in, I now see how it is so much more than that.

The dark romantic nature of his work is truly astounding, and I often catch myself looking back to it for inspiration, its amazing how his work transcends time and will continue to inspire millions for years to come!

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René Magritte: Les amants…

The reason this painting came to mind is due to my photography, after looking at it, it reminded me of this painting I felt that the cloth over my models head added similarities between Magritte’s piece and my photography.

The painting is of two lovers enthralled by passion, but the inclusion of the fabric over their heads acts as a barrier between them, makes an act of passion into one of isolation and frustration, just how the fabric over the models head adds a barrier between her and the viewer meaning they can look into this “world” but they have no immediate access or contact to it.

 “Some have interpreted his work as a depiction of the inability to fully unveil the true nature of even our most intimate companions.”

Others find connections between his paintings and his mother’s death, “The artist was 14 when his mother committed suicide by drowning. He witnessed her body being fished from the water, her wet nightgown wrapped around her face.”

I love how something that appears to be so beautiful and loving actually has a very dark, raw backstory, his paintings have a sense of mystery and this is something I definitely wanted to have in my exhibition, I wanted people to question everything, I wanted them to have a strong emotional reaction to my piece and to really think about things.

pelle mea…

This was when I started my small (A5) brainstorm book, this is where I would quickly note down an idea that came to mind while I was out and I would just scribble it in.

I also done a few “trial” samples inside, this one I done using the Old English stencil and using my red malleable wax, the quote reads “Skin Me”, the inspiration was from a double page in my sketchbook where I showed “blood” and “skin”.

The reason for this macabre-ish phrase is to show, what people are willing to do in the sacrifice ritual in order to get what they want.

This was just a quick rough sample, but I like how raw it is and I really enjoy how the wax dried quite thick on the page, making the “blood” touchable, putting you that much closer to the event that took place.

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