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Chinwag, Leeds: Jake Chapman
Date: 12th November 2015
Venue: Outlaws Yacht Club, 38 New York St, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY, 0113 234 6998

Chinwag is pleased to announce British visual artist Jake Chapman of the Chapman Brothers as the artist in conversation on Thursday 12th November. Jake & Dinos Chapman make iconoclastic sculpture, prints and installations that examine, with searing wit and energy, contemporary politics, religion and morality. They have exhibited extensively all over the world, including UK solo shows at Serpentine Sackler Gallery (2013); Tate Britain, London (2007) and Tate Liverpool (2006). UK group exhibitions have included ‘Rude Britannia’, Tate Britain (2010); ‘Summer Exhibition’, Annenberg Courtyard, Royal Academy of Arts, London (2007) and Turner Prize, Tate Britain (2003).

Working together since their graduation from the Royal College of Art in 1990, the Chapmans first received critical acclaim in 1991 for a diorama sculpture entitled 'Disasters of War' created out of remodelled plastic figurines enacting scenes from Goya's 'Disasters of War' etchings. Later they took a single scene from the work and meticulously transformed it into Great Deeds Against the Dead (1994), a life-size tableau of reworked fibreglass mannequins depicting three castrated and mutilated soldiers tied to a tree.


Arguably their most ambitious work was Hell (1999), an immense tabletop tableau, peopled with over 30,000 remodelled, 2-inch-high figures, many in Nazi uniform and performing egregious acts of cruelty. The work combined historical, religious and mythic narratives to present an apocalyptic snapshot of the twentieth-century. Tragically this work was destroyed in the MOMART fire in 2004 and the Chapmans rebuked by saying they would make another, more ambitious in scale and detail - the result of which was Fucking Hell (2008). The interim saw 'The Chapman Family Collection' (2002), comprised of a group of sculptures that bring to mind the loot from a Victorian explorer’s trophy bag, yet also portraying characters from McDonald’s. The conflation of the exotic fetish and the cheap fast-food giveaway, imperialism and globalisation, created a powerful sense of dislocation.


‘Like A Dog Returns To Its Vomit’ (2005), was an exhibition of the Chapmans’ graphic works, a large collection of etchings and drawings displayed on two walls and arranged in the shape of dogs. Many of the works were reinterpretations of Goya etchings, including the ‘Disasters Of War’ and the ‘Los Caprichos’ series. Using the Tate Collection's erotomanic sculpture Little Death Machine (Castrated) (1993) as their point of departure, the Chapmans created 'When Humans Walked the Earth' (2008) an installation of ten improbable machines, cast in bronze and now ossified, emulating aspects of human behaviour with a trademark subversive wit.


Chinwag is a fresh approach to the run-of-the-mill interview; it is an easy-going, unstructured chat with distinguished cultural icons about life and whatever else comes up. Held monthly at Outlaws Yacht Club bar/art space in Leeds, Chinwag’s guests share life stories, experiences, ideas, thoughts, and themselves. Having built a strong following from its inception Chinwag events sell out instantly by going back to basics and embracing the value of talking. World-class musicians, authors, composers, designers, artists, DJs, playwrights, and arts enthusiasts have all collaborated with host Chris Madden to create Chinwag. Guests have included writer and film maker Irvine Welsh, legendary record label owner Alan McGee, Viv Albertine from The Slits, musician Andrew Weatherall, writer and broadcaster James Brown, producer/DJ Justin Robertson, film director and DJ Don Letts and many more.


Chinwag’s host Chris Madden grew up in the music industry becoming a DJ and pop video director in the early 80’s, setting up Leeds club night Soundclash and the Soundclash label and then going on to manage artists. Chris left the music industry to become a qualified psychotherapist and Chinwag gives him the opportunity to explore both. He conducts each one in a wholly unique and fascinating way;

“Chinwag is an opportunity to share some time exploring. I appreciate that this isn’t a typical approach, but I really don’t want to be Jonathan Ross or Melvyn Bragg - it’s a chat! I never have a starting point when we sit down together, I never know what I’m going to say or how it will begin, I don’t have an agenda or place to get to. Each guest is free to bring as much of themselves as they are comfortable with, this allows stories to evolve naturally.”


At the heart of Chinwag events is the MAP foundation ( The money raised from the events goes to the Leeds based registered charity, which enables disadvantaged young people at risk of exclusion from mainstream education access to art and music courses and opportunities, ranging from experience in graphics and illustration through to lyric writing and music production. Chinwag lends their services so they can support MAP’s inspiring projects and promote arts education in the community.