Jake & Dinos Chapman

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Big Mac as a yardstick

The Big Mac index was created in 1986. This list is released twice a year and is the brainchild of an editor of the British magazine The Economist. The index shows the price of a Big Mac in every country and is thus regarded as a reflection of an economy.

A Big Mac is essentially a collection of products and inputs; meat, bread, lettuce, labour and electricity. Its cost is based on a cross-section of the price levels in a given country. As McDonald's is almost everywhere, Big Mac is an interesting benchmark. It tells you something about the distribution of wealth and poverty in the world.

Visual language

Everyone sees images differently. The same is true of art. What you think is beautiful might be ugly to someone else. This adds a certain amount of tension for artists when creating new work. An artist cannot predict what an observer will think of his or her creation. With the Chapmans’ art, you never know how an audience will respond. Many adults find the Chapman brothers’ work somewhat ‘horror-esque’ because they recognise frightening characters from history in it. This is due to context, something adults are particularly influenced by because of what they have been taught. If you don't know who Hitler is, for instance, then seeing him won’t upset you.

Before this sculpture was in the museum…

…it stood at a large window in the LAM office. It was really something quite different. Rain or shine, he stood there with his face to the room. It was as if he was watching over you, like someone else was in the office with you. Although the sculpture isn't alive, it has a certain aura or perhaps even exudes some kind of emotion. Would you like to have it in your room?

Themes explored by Jake and Dinos

The Chapman brothers create art about sex and violence. Their subjects are often linked to history, fairy tales or myths in an absurd or amusing way. 

Who do you encounter in the world of Jake and Dinos?

Miniature dead, a crucified Ronald McDonald (the clown, you know the one) and naughty Ku Klux Klanners (a racist group in the US). But Hitler appears in their art too. Jake and Dinos love to combine symbols from the past (such as Nazi Germany) with those of today (McDonald's).

Brothers who make art

That's what Jake and Dinos do. Imagine that you wanted to team up with a family member to create art. Would you choose your brother or someone else?

What are Jake and Dinos known for?

For their works using mannequins. Jake and Dinos distorted their faces. The figures were small, making them look a bit like children. They had noses like penises and mouths like bottoms. They wore modern, trendy shoes. Naturally, the brothers attracted a lot of attention with this work. Many found it unacceptable.

Limits

Artists try to come up with and create all sorts of things. They often seek to push things to the limit. Jake and Dinos certainly do. The question is where the limits actually lie. What's allowed and what isn't. What do you think: is it acceptable to use Hitler to create art? And the Ku Klux Klan? Ask the person you came to the LAM with. Perhaps you both have different opinions. Boundaries are a personal thing. What one person thinks is fine can be a step too far for someone else.

Shock art

This duo attracts a lot of attention. People use all sorts of long words to describe them – words that art experts and writers like to use. Critics say they are misanthropes, that they just want to shock or scare you. The two brothers can certainly incite turmoil among audiences.

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Neat or messy?

This is the location where you are now. Occasionally, this location will differ from your actual position. This has no impact on your tour. However, 'All art in this room' is linked to this location. If desired, select 'Walk around', where you will find all rooms.

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