News Column

Chapman brothers turn tattooists for crowdfunded Hastings show

June 18, 2014

Maev Kennedy

If the public stumps up enough money, Jake and Dinos Chapman will be on their way home to mount an exhibition in their native Hastings, with the possibility of rewarding their donors by turning them into works of art - bearing Chapman skin tattoos.

Liz Gilmore, director of the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, promises it will be the "biggest baddest show yet" by the pair. However, the show would be relying on the public coming up with pounds 25,000 over the next 76 days through a crowdfunding effort launched by the Art Fund for museum projects.

Jake said: "We will be seeking out the dark underbelly of Hastings, to find its seething evil. And then we're going to tickle it." He added that it was "the only way we're going to get down to Hastings to see our mum and dad".

The brothers will also be "rectifying" works of art sourced from local junk shops and brought in by members of the public.

Art donors should bear in mind that on past Chapman brothers form their much-loved picture of great aunt Agatha could well end up with pop eyes and Micky Mouse ears. Worse, "some of the art will probably be so bad it will just need burning", Jake suggested.

He will also be running the tattoo parlour at the show. "There will be pain. Pain and blood," he promised.

Neither brother was expert with the needle, he admitted. Jake's left wrist has a blue star, which he drew himself; his entire right forearm is covered with a scribbly blue drawing by Dinos. "He isn't very good, and he really dug in with the needle - it was very painful."

The original tattoo idea, which the Frieze Art Fair turned down on health and safety grounds, involved one of the brothers setting up with the needles and inks inside a large wooden box with a hole in it. The victims were to sit outside the box and stick their arm through the hole, which would then be clamped in place: their arm would be returned more or less intact, but bearing a surprise design.

The rewards on offer for donors to the Chapman brothers' project range from regular updates and a citation on the website for pounds 5, to a Chapman brothers roll of loo paper for pounds 60, and a visit to their London studio for pounds 995. Removable transfer tattoos are to be at the pounds 25 mark.

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said the fund had concentrated in the past on helping museums to raise large amounts of money for acquisitions.

However, increasingly they were being asked by museums for advice on encouraging donations for modest projects costing no more than pounds 25,000.

A tattoo like this could be yours, in return for a donation towards the cost of an exhibition by Jake and Dinos Chapman

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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