The Chapman brothers first came to prominence as part of the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s. They featured in the Royal Academy’s seminal 1997 exhibition ‘Sensation’, showing a sculptural rendering of Goya’s ‘Disasters of War’. They returned to the work of Goya in 2003 – painting their own ghoulish imagery over an original set of etchings. In 2004 they produced ‘My Giant Colouring Book’, a portfolio consisting of 21 etchings, published in an edition of just 35 plus 10 artists’ proof sets and 1 printers proof set, all the prints are signed and numbered on the reverse.

Themed on pages from children’s join the dot colouring books, the savagely reworked images ruthlessly subvert this apparently safe form to reveal monsters lurking within the real world, using historical iconography ranging from Goya’s Horrors of War to the dark visions of the Surrealists of the 1920s and 1930s. They explore the artists interest in childhood and the naive imagery associated with it.  When questioned about the portfolio Jake Chapman said: ‘The job of a work of art is to raise questions about its terms and conditions, that’s what we do. We present the viewer with a puzzle. We put an injunction on speedy consumption, by refusing to offer a straightforward aesthetic experience. And to defend the integrity of the work, we produce a bit of turbulence that makes it more than a simple sip – of art’.

Archived Works