jake & dinos chapman: in our dreams we have seen another world
jake & dinos chapman: in our dreams we have seen another world jake & dinos chapman: in our dreams we have seen another world
jan 08, 2014

jake & dinos chapman: in our dreams we have seen another world

jake & dinos chapman present ‘in our dreams we have seen another world’ at art basel miami beach
image courtesy of jake and dinos chapman




a stinging wit and an unrestrained examination of political, religious, and moral thematic elements define the opus of the british artist brothers, jake and dinos chapman. their recent work has involved the meticulous and intricate crafting of highly-detailed miniature dioramas, ones typically perverse and morbid scenes of a kind of alighieri-esque purgatory. the hellscapes, as the creative duo call to them, are often heavily saturated in historical undercurrents, overlapped with contemporary notions of capitalism and the commercialization of culture. recently shown at art basel miami beach for the white cube, london was ‘in our dreams we have seen another world’, a mixed media inferno of small-scale zombies, soldiers, corpses and crucified ronald mcdonalds neatly encased in a glass box. 



an interlocking chain of lifeless heads is one of the artwork’s focal points
image courtesy of jake and dinos chapman



at a distance, the heaps of miniature dismembered bodies, skulls on spikes and singed trees blur into an indiscernible chaotic wreckage. it is from a close range that a viewer becomes aware of the artwork’s inconceivable complexity. a twisting, interlocking chain comprised of countless lifeless heads is the seat for stacks of half-alive people participating in some kind of mass carnage; ronald mcdonald, arguably the mascot of commercialization, hangs on crosses, rides on horses clutching the carcases of skeletons, and attempt to flee from the doom; heads of nazi soldiers ornament sharply pointing prongs. the scenes interweave reincarnations of sensitive historical events with an unabashed criticism of the underlying hypocrisy connected with our era of globalization. no strangers to controversy, the chapman brothers at once deliberately provoke through their confrontational work, yet offset the overwhelming brutality by making evident the painstaking labor that clearly is involved in the making of their art.



ronald mcdonald stands amongst the carnage in the miniature world
image courtesy of jake and dinos chapman



a detail, where ronald mcdonald walks atop a crucifix resting on nazi soldier’s backs
image courtesy of jake and dinos chapman



‘in our dreams we have seen another world’, 2013
image courtesy of jake and dinos chapman



a detail of the hellscape
image © designboom



‘in our dreams we have seen another world’ at art basel miami beach 2013
image © designboom



the mass of miniature figures encased in glass
image © designboom



the chapman brothers’ work in the south beach venue
image © designboom

  • Not their best work.
    The commentary seems to excuse it on the grounds that it must have been a lot of work.
    In these days of `Hurstian art factories` populated by the skillful who are not the chosen few and the predominance of 4D lathes it’s not a very convincing argument.

    bittersweet says:

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