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

 

death…

I liked the acetate sketches a lot but I wanted to do something that linked but was somehow different, I wanted them to look similar but I still wanted people to differentiate between them.

So I came up with the idea to use white ink on a clear plastic sheet! I liked that the plastic was sturdier than the acetate and I liked that it wasn’t something that you could easily smudge off or damage by simply bending it or “scrunching” it up.

But because I did use a different material this mean that the “mood” of the sample was different, because when I made the acetate sketches I admired the “x-ray” look and feel they had to them, but the plastic sheet had none of that, it had more of a clean cut feel and it didn’t give off the same macabre ancient history vibe.

I experimented with it layering it over different images to see if I found a portrait that would match the skull, to symbolize and show “the thin line between life and death”

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discovering a past-time…

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I fell in love with this book when I went to the Welcome Collection, they had an extensive library that went up two floors, and around a small dark corner I found this Latin anatomy book and I absolutely loved how everything was played out, how it felt in your hands and the amazing imagery that was used, this was exactly the kind of vibe I was trying to put out in my sketchbook, I loved how because it was Latin it somehow felt foreign and quite mysteriously macabre. Almost as if it were an old Wiccan book, used for rituals.

I bought a stencil to somewhat replicate this font, and hopefully create some interesting samples!

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mixed media…

This is a photogram piece I done, a photogram is a photographic print that is made by laying objects onto photographic light sensitive paper and exposing it to light. This technique of creating photographic prints without using a camera (photograms) is as old as photography itself, but this traditional technique rose to popularity again in various avant-garde contexts in the early 1920s.

I had a piece of photogram paper that I over exposed and it turned pitch black! So I decided that I would use it for a sketch, at fists I was deciding if I was going to sketch directly onto it or possibly even cut out the silhouette of something out of it!

I later decided to do a detailed sketch on acetate and lay this over the photogram.

I like the effect it created because it gives of a sense of dark mystery to the sketch and I find it interesting that you get to see it in two different “lights” as the bottom only has the sketchbook page behind it.

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look through the broken glass…

This is a double page in my sketchbook! I wanted to find a way to make it more raw and “interactive” so I decided to draw on broken glass with permanent marker!

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I decided to use broken glass to draw the images of the naked women because I wanted to symbolize how sexuality can be dangerous and can be used to cause harm and hurt people, that’s why if you try to touch the naked women in the glass you’re likely to cut your self. This makes sex dangerous to a point where it can even draw out blood.

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Wabi Sabi…

Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection, turning something beautiful into something not so beautiful.

Such things are created like when a piece of pottery breaks, they fill it in/glue it together with gold, meaning that it becomes more valuable for being broken.

They find beauty and profundity in nature, and accept the natural cycle of growth, decay and death. Its something simple, slow and uncluttered, it revered authenticity above all, it celebrates the cracks and crevices in buildings, it finds pleasure in marks that time, weather and loving use have left behind, telling a story.

” It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through Wabi-Sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.”

This is my own “version” of Wabi-Sabi, I turns something pretty and beautiful into something “dark and ugly”

IMG_6186“inspiring”