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The Chapman brothers reviewed readers’ art – and they didn't hold back

By Time Out London editors
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You sent in your art. The Chapman brothers had a lot to say about it

Jake and Dinos Chapman have been causing all sorts of arty trouble for more than 20 years – and will no doubt be causing even more with their new show of defaced Goya prints at Mayfair’s Blain Southern gallery. So when we asked our readers to submit art for them to cast their critical eyes over, we should have known what to expect. Of the 200 artworks submitted, there were at least six drawings of Donald Trump (one of him magically performing self-fellatio, another of him with a dong for a face). Other highlights included a detailed drawing of a woman vomming down herself while doing a (very graphic) poo, a character with snakes for fingers and a photo of a pickled onion. Here are Jake and Dinos’s eight favourite works of Time Out readers’ art (in no particular order).

Philippe Jusforgues, ‘Untitled’ (pictured above)

J&D say: ‘Given the simplicity of means in Philippe Jusforgues’s collage of a horse with human eyes, one might be forgiven for expecting a little more generosity concerning the title, certainly something more exacting than the tightfisted and rather benign “Untitled”. Collage artists are often predisposed to the tenuous ambiguity of the word “juxtaposition”. Because this picture is also very funny and uncanny, I don’t imagine Philippe Jusforgues is the kind of artist who uses the word “juxtaposition”. I really hope not.’

James Padgham, ‘Dear Deirdre, It’s Still Life’

J&D say:  ‘Pregnant Barbie + bread bin = bun in the oven.  Barbie (or Deirdre) seems happy enough in her modular-home-on-wheels, but the title’s insinuation of “still life” is harbinger of something altogether more disturbing. Hence, unborn baby + still life = miscarriage. Padgham shows us how art, even in its putative simplicity, can inflict sublime pathos at the most critically unexpected moments of our engagement with life, albeit still life and all that sadly suggests.’  

Alan Cracknell, ‘Robin Redbreast’

J&D say: ‘The garden has long provided inspiration for artists, just as art inspires gardeners. Alan Cracknell offers a delightful insight into his own back garden, and the robin redbreast found therein. He has captured something of the robin’s essence, perched on its fine twig, a brave smudge of red for a breast, dappled colour for the background, and an eye, perhaps with a hint of a tear, anticipating the vicissitudes of winter to come – but painted in such a delightful manner as it follows you around the garden.’

Kyle Pawlowski, ‘Woman Creep’

J&D say: ‘Pawlowski’s “Woman Creep” provides us with another haunting and speculative depiction of womanhood in its most elemental form. The surface texture offers an abrasive and inhospitable surface for the excoriating vivisection of the subject, the stripped-down three-colour palette as naked as the subject itself. The paradox of the handling of the breasts is especially novel, the blue indicating they are either transparent or very cold.’

Joan Priego, ‘Navareno’

J&D say: ‘Joan Priego’s “Navareno” dares to collide the iconography of two vertiginously unrelated image sources to create a rather bewildering surrealist synthesis. The unexpected collision between Marilyn Monroe’s white dress filling with hot air from a broadwalk vent in the 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch”, is blended with a sinister klonvocation of KKK goons, although the gowned figure in the left of the bas-relief seems to have been captured covering his hood with his hand, in an unexpectedly humane gasp at the sight of Monroe’s act of genital shame.’    

Andrea Christodoulides, ‘Curtain Call’

J&D say: ‘It’s difficult to know what exactly is going on in Andrea Christodoulides’s busy painting. Three people are working at a bench, a shifty-looking child is standing with a bowl of brown fluid, and a woman and child are kissing in the picture’s centre. The woman is wearing a patterned dress and the central child is wearing a white dress. The others are wearing clothes with strange blue patches that reminds me of the adverts years ago showing people with ultraviolet chlamydia. I like it, I don’t know why, but it’s certainly visually contagious.’

Ffiôn Roberts, ‘Touch Me’ 

J&D say: ‘I would dearly like to mention something about Ffiôn Roberts’s painting of a plastic-wrapped skull, plastic-wrapped syringe, plastic-wrapped handcuffs, plastic-wrapped leather-studded strap and plastic-wrapped fire extinguisher but I’m scared I’d end up plastic-wrapped.’ 

Hayden Kays, ‘Love Always Wins’ 

J&D say: ‘Hayden Kays is certainly on trend with his extraordinary rendition of noughts and crosses reworked as hate versus love. He is being especially dismissive and cutthroat to the superior Nazi intellect, since the ratio of five swastikas to four hearts indicates that the Nazi player went first in the game and yet still managed to lose. Ha ha ha, I mean, what a fucking idiot!’

Jake and Dinos Chapman: The Disasters of Everyday Life’ is at Blain Southern. Oxford Circus. Wed Oct 4-Nov 11. Free.

Want more art? Here's what to expect from Rachel Whiteread at the Tate Modern

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