Image: Jake and Dinos Chapman, Untitled from My Giant Colouring Book, 2004 © Jake and Dinos Chapman and Paragon | Contemporary Editions Ltd
Jake Chapman was born in Cheltenham, England in 1966 and studied at North East London Polytechnic. Dinos Chapman was born in London in 1962 and studied at Ravensbourne College of Art, London. Both studied at the Royal College of Art, London. They were shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2003.
Jake and Dinos Chapman's work explores subjects such as war, politics, religion and morality with an uncompromising sense of humour. Known best for their sculptural installations, the Chapman brothers also produce drawings, paintings and prints. They first aroused public attention in 1993 with the exhibition ‘The Disasters of War’. Using plastic model figurines, the brothers recreated a series of tableaux inspired by the eighteenth-century artist Francisco Goya's famous series of etchings of the Franco-Spanish Napoleonic Wars. They gained widespread media interest as part of the seminal group exhibition ‘Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection’ in 1997.
My Giant Colouring Book (2004) is a portfolio comprising 21 etchings where the Chapman brothers unleash their fantastical imaginations on what should be a harmless children’s colouring book. Referring to art historical iconography, the brothers subvert the dot-to-dot guides to reveal darker images. The ascending numbered dots appear to have been followed correctly but, upon close inspection, what should have been a cuddly teddy bear becomes a severed monster with its innards spilling out, while a handmaid bearing freshly picked flowers is seen footsteps away from an exploding house.