decay, disgust - after last year's low-key affair, no one could
accuse the Turner Prize 2003 of being short on provocation.
Tipped by many to win the £20,000 art prize, the experience
of the Chapman brothers is a clear reminder that favourites often
fall at the final hurdle. None of which will upset their starry
rep or their bad boy antics, as our reviewer Carol Murphy makes
& Dinos Chapman
here for the other Turner Prize nominees: Anya
Gallaccio>>, Willie Doherty>>
and Grayson Perry>>
Chapman was born in London in 1962 and his brother Jake was born
in Cheltenham in 1966. They both graduated from the Royal College
of Art, London, in 1990 and began working together shortly afterwards.
have a particular fascination for the
work of Goya and, of course, sex, war and death. Grabbed attention
initially in the early 90s with their three dimensional recreations
of a series of Goya etchings called The Disasters of War.
Stole the show at Sensation 1997 at the Royal Academy with a piece
called Tragic Anatomies (1996), a circle of naked, mutilated
and sexually mutated child mannequins wearing nothing but Fila trainers
and standing on a pedestal. The piece was deemed too risqué
and was given an '18' rating, thus sealing its fate.
view of the Chapman brothers work in the Turner Prize 2003.
Back: Insult to Injury (2003). Middle: Sex (2003).
Front: Death (2003). All courtesy Jay Jopling/White
this year for:
Insult to Injury (2003), a series of cartoon-like, Chapman-defaced
Goya etchings. Sex (2003), a bronze sculpture of a tree with
hanging skeletons, swarming with maggots, snails and flies. And,
most controversially, Death (2003), a painted bronze cast
of two sex dolls doing what is known in general parlance as a '69'.
(Am I the only one experiencing dizzy spells of déjà
vu when I think of the work the New York artist Jeff Koons made
in the 80s?)
of Sex (2003). Cast bronze. Courtesy Jay Jopling/White
inside view: uber
conservative art critic Brian Sewell has
expressed a liking for their 'defaced' Goya etchings. This could
disaster for their kudos factor.
hear from again?: nothing
Chapmans have a lot to answer for. Emblematic of how contemporary
art has wrung interest out of ideas which revolve around sex and
death by turning complex subject matter into the banal. Their nomination
seems past the point: the Turner selection panel should have picked
up on Hell (1999-2000) in Apocalypse at the Royal Academy
2000, or Chapmanworld, their expansive installation at the
ICA in 1996.
Turner Prize 2003 is at Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1.Tel:
020 7887 8000. Daily 10.00 - 17.50 until 11 January 2004
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go on to Anya Gallaccio>>
or Willie Doherty>> or
Grayson Perry>> or go to
our Galleries index for more
on London's visual arts scene