Since seeing the Chapman brothers’ exhibitions at White Cube earlier on in the summer, and more recently a particular piece at Frieze this year, my interest in this strange pair has grown and grown so I headed off to the Museum of Childhood with a couple of friends (and not just to try on Victorian maid’s outfits and be thrown off a rocking horse – under 12s only my arse!).
My Giant Colouring Book is on until mid-January and although it’s only a little exhibition of around 20 prints, it’s still most definitely worth a look. The prints are displayed at a slightly disturbingly child-friendly level for such grotesque images and are mostly born out of innocent colouring book pages, meant for quaint images of Bo Peep and her sheep: not exactly the Chapman’s forte.
It’s a refreshing and simple insight into the imaginations of two artists whose work is usually large-scale, expensive and pretty commercial really. The pair fascinate me but also drive me mad with their work; aesthetically I love their beautifully gruesome style, stunning but disgusting, but conceptually it all seems too ‘built to shock’ for me. A bit contrived. But contrived this exhibition is not, so have a look and just don’t jump on any rocking horses while you’re at it- not even the big one, apparently it’s not for grown-ups hrmph.
…and although the rocking horses may not be adult-friendly, they can’t stop you from dressing up!
I can goddamn well fit into children’s clothing if I want to!