After learning about this debate in class today, it was something that I found incredibly interesting, and I wanted to do more research on the subject. There have been opposing opinions on either side of this debate, and I feel as though each of their arguments do make a fair case to either justify or condemn the Chapman Brothers’ adjustments to Goya’s famous pieces.
One of the first articles I read was from The Guardian, where they felt as though these adjustments were disgracing Goyas memory in his death and that they were uncalled for. However, I do not feel the same way that the Guardian does. I look at the example of Bansky’s street work across the globe where people feel as though it is vandalism. Taking the same approach to understanding this artwork, I do not view the Chapman Brother’s work as vandalism. I think that they are reproducing in image in the way that it has affected them and their culture and ideas, just as Banksy depicts his opinions of society on street and city walls. I do find the images to be rather creepy, but in that sense they are still beautiful.
What is your opinion? Is this just another version of vandalism or do you think that it is artistic genius?
One Reply to “Chapman Brothers vs Goya”
Caroline, I agree with you that this is a unique artistic act by the Chapman Brothers, rather than an instance of vandalism. Still, I think the reason that people really take issue with their work is because they draw on top of original Goya prints, which have become increasingly rare. Thus the Chapman Brothers’ work becomes, to some, an attempt to efface Goya’s legacy and insert a modern perspective in a rather visually abrasive manner. I respect what the Chapman Brothers have made, and certainly believe it qualifies as art, but it does not seem that there are enough Goya’s to go around. By drawing on original prints, the brothers ostensibly assert themselves as tyrants, trying to topple rather than to complement Goya’s legacy.