JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN (B. 1962 & 1966) The Model Village of the Damned, 2007

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Lot 32W
JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN
(B. 1962 & 1966)
The Model Village of the Damned, 2007

Sold for US$ 131,250 inc. premium
PROPERTY FROM A PROMINENT TEXAS COLLECTION
JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN (B. 1962 & 1966)
The Model Village of the Damned, 2007

mixed media

84 5/8 x 50 1/8 x 50 1/8 in.
215 x 127.5 x 127.5 cm

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    White Cube, London.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007.

    Exhibited
    Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, End Game - British Contemporary Art from the Chaney Family Collection, 14 June-28 September 2008 (illustrated in color, pp. 12 and 51).



    Provocation and disturbance are two words that, when considered within the context of Jake and Dinos Chapman's oeuvre, seem understated. The Chapman brothers, belonging to the elite group of Young British Artists that also includes Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, began their collaboration in 1991, creating darkly introspective, often grotesque sculptures that confront themes of obscenity, corruption and madness within humanity and contemporary culture. In The Model Village of the Damned, 2007, Jake and Dinos Chapman put hierarchical society under a microscope, forcing the audience to examine its own relationships with historical tropes, social constraints, and bitter mortality.

    The works of Jake and Dinos Chapman are exquisitely macabre; vitrines filled with staggering, cadaverous figures in various stages of atrophy and sculptures genetically modified to show sexual organs where facial features should be. The present work exhibits decrepit, decomposing bodies eviscerating one another in a tableau reminiscent of a battleground, replete with severed heads and skewered bodies. Skeletal remains are strewn about the landscape, which bears far more resemblance to a postmodern underworld than it does to a communal village. In a shallow ravine, Nazi cars emblazoned with swastikas are bloodied and broken down, in a gruesome reference to the despotism of Adolf Hitler. Images of crucifixion provide a gripping, if not nightmarish exploration into fatality, vulnerability and ethical consciousness. The Model Village of the Damned is at once astoundingly intricate and frighteningly engaging, so much so that the eye fails to focus on a singular point. Of the duo's notoriously anarchic and chaotic scenes, Jake once remarked, "Every act is occurring at the same second. It's a snapshot, one mass moment of nastiness."1 Though the figures are modest in scale, their shock value and the resulting effects on the viewer's psyche are enduring. The intricacy of the present work draws the viewer in closer until they are submerged in the catastrophic, ghastly world the Chapman brothers have created. The Model Village of the Damned examines the obsession with carnage and power latent in the subconscious, positing the present dystopian hellscape as one of the most iconic and challenging works of the Young British Artists.

    The grim irony in The Model Village of the Damned is the complete lack of autonomy, and, for that matter, authority in the microcosm. Though the Chapmans depict Nazi toy soldiers reduced to flesh and bones condemning other figures, they all are cursed beings, doomed to meet the same fate regardless of religion, sexuality, or cultural status. Virtues are eschewed in The Model Village of the Damned, where each figure is just as warped and twisted as the next, with no salvation in sight. Executed exactly ten years after the seminal Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art that lent the artists international notoriety, The Model Village of the Damned is inherently an exorcism of civilization and humanity, compelling and impressive in its ability to illicit an immediate response with each viewer interaction, even if the response is a cringe or shudder.

    1. J. Chapman, "Jake and Dinos Chapman: How We Made Hell", The Guardian, 16 June 2015.
Contacts
JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN (B. 1962 & 1966) The Model Village of the Damned, 2007
JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN (B. 1962 & 1966) The Model Village of the Damned, 2007
JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN (B. 1962 & 1966) The Model Village of the Damned, 2007
JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN (B. 1962 & 1966) The Model Village of the Damned, 2007
JAKE & DINOS CHAPMAN (B. 1962 & 1966) The Model Village of the Damned, 2007
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