The Chapman brothers are known for their provocative and often confrontational art, and this time you may well be going home with it. For the exhibition titled ‘In the Realm of the Unmentionable’- continuing the the artists’ exploration of issues surrounding consumer culture, Western identity and human mortality – at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings; the Brothers have also tattooed visitors with Chapman-designed artwork – as an imperishable souvenir of the show, in a one day only tattoo parlour event.
There is also the recreation of Tracey Emin’s tent of everyone she slept with between 1963 and 1995 installed in the show, not by the artist and not in Margate this time, but by brothers on the Hastings coast.
“It’s far enough away from Tracey,” said Dinos Chapman to the Guardian. “We’ve got the outposts guarded so if she does intend to come here we can quickly unpack it and put it away.”
The Brothers’ have also turned viewers into permanent artworks – the tattooed individuals have been transformed into a piece of contemporary art by the Chapman’s – and for life it seems.
“When you are an artist there is no limit, so of course we will do tattoos,” commented Jake Chapman. “It’s like expanding foam.”
“I suppose I can sell myself now,” commented Ross Rollo, now with a contemporary artwork from the artists on his bicep.
The brothers’ are also known for their reworking of Goya etchings and Victorian paintings in their Family Portrait series; for this ‘crowd-funded’ exhibition the Chapman’s have sourced artworks from antique and junk shops in Hastings, these antiques were then ‘fixed’ for the exhibition.
The exhibition has taken over the entire ground floor of the gallery, and is the largest exhibition of contemporary art at the gallery to date. Part of the exhibition includes the opportunity for the public to get inked by the brothers in a live tattooing event.
Art Happens was launched in June 2014 on the Art Fund website to help UK museums raise money for new, small-scale, and achievable and highly creative projects. Jerwood Gallery’s Chapman Brothers exhibition is the second project to have been successfully funded through this crowd-funding initiative.