Thursday, June 05, 2008

Here's hoping none of it sells:

The Independent:
When the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman bought a series of paintings by Adolf Hitler for £115,000, many questioned the morality of paying for works produced by one of history's most brutal dictators.

Yesterday, the brothers unveiled 13 of the watercolours, on which they had added psychedelic rainbows, stars and love hearts, and placed them back on the market for £685,000. ...

This is not the first time the brothers have defaced artwork. They offended some Spanish critics when they reworked 80 etchings by Goya, Disasters of War, adding funny faces and clowns heads.
For a negative review of the Chapmans, there is this blog post.

UPDATE: More negative reviews. Chapmans are anti-Enlightenment. Excerpt:
The Chapmans' intellectual hero is Georges Bataille, the French writer and (anti-)philosopher who was obsessed with moments of "transgression", when the "prison" of the Enlightenment could be left behind. And these glorious moments? They mostly consist of torture. He lauded the Marquis de Sade, an aristocratic rapist who preyed on working-class women, because he "had only one occupation in his long life which really absorbed him - that of enumerating to the point of exhaustion the possibilities of destroying human beings, and of enjoying the thought of their death and suffering".

Jake Chapman echoes his hero. He talks about the "libidinal pleasure" that comes from seeing a real picture of a real person being tortured, because of the "transgression of the ethics that that image is supposed to trigger or incite". A few years ago he was asked in the Papers of Surrealism: "Does Battaille's formulation of the conception of transgression relate to the way that work like your own is sometimes suggested as being part of a necessary force?" He replied: "Yes - a good social service like the children who killed Jamie Bulger."

Some foolish critics have praised the "moral anger" in the Chapmans' work, directed at "injustice and cruelty". Precisely the opposite is the case. This is immoral anger, celebrating injustice and cruelty as "transgression". ...

Jake [Chapman] has described the international opposition to the Taliban blowing up ancient [Buddhas of Bamyan] sculptures as "strange", describing it with bland semi-admiration as the "live, vital religious opposition to something that has a direct and local meaning to them".
Also, complaints by artists, and others, about the Turner Prize (which the Chapmans won).


"They offended some Spanish critics when they reworked 80 etchings by Goya, Disasters of War, adding funny faces and clowns heads."

Yeeeesh. Foggetabout the negative review, I want to know if there's anyone anywhere who's tried to write a *positve* review for this dodgey-at-best concept.

By Blogger Erick L., at 6/05/2008 11:14 PM  

erick: I agree with your "Yeeeesh". These guys are boors and defacing Goya was horrible. But even doing it to Hitler's work is something I don't like. Should these clowns be allowed to paint over something Tamerlane crafted? 'Cause he was a murderous fellow.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 6/06/2008 4:53 AM  

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