Macabre humour of war

Chapman 3

KKK figures peer into the apocalypse – crucifying global consumerism

The Chapman brothers crucify Ronald MacDonald in their latest show, Come and See. Literally. And dozens of times over. Taking their title from a movie about the horrors of World War 2, these irreverent artists bring war right into our daily existence. They merge a fast-food culture with the grimmest scenes of human suffering since Goya’s tortured figures.

In fact, that poor smiling clown and his purple blob of a friend even feature in an attack on the Twin Towers in New York. Windows on the World is laid out like a children’s colouring-in sheet, but behind the bright colours and innocent games, these pilots have 9/11 in their sights.

And everywhere there are the chilling hooded figures of the Ku Klux Klan, peering into vitrines along with us, jostling each other to get a better view of the macabre apocalyptic tableaux which reveal in sickening detail the atrocities man visits on his fellow man. Below their white robes, sandals and cheery striped socks peep out.

The exhibition at the Sackler Serpentine Gallery (until 9 Feb) is brimful of drawings and models, some of which wouldn’t look out of place in a primary school art fair, while others have breath-taking, if horrific, detailing.

Look for example at the Flintstone-style golden arches, made up of tusks, with what must be the first drive-through take-out, or the pile of teddies the Nazi soldiers are making, the double-headed Aryan, skeletons riding dinosaurs or the graveyard of beat-up Volkswagens. One could spend ages  lost in the myriad images that make up this gruesome section.

With their macabre sense of humour, Jake and Dinos Chapman’s exhibition clowns around with one’s perceptions, making the viewer uncomfortably aware of his own complicity in the savage world we inhabit.

Chapman 4

Amazing detail

Chapman 2

Jostling for a better view

Chapman 1

Smiling faces of Windows to the World


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