A tiny version of Ronald McDonald dancing on top of a cross. Part of a ‘hellscape’ by Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Jake and Dinos Chapman have been creating miniature “hellscapes” for nearly twenty years, with their first one being unveiled to the public in 1999. The diabolical work was unambiguously entitled “Hell” and took two years to make. In a not-so-strange twist of satanic fate, the warehouse that “Hell” was residing in caught fire and the pair’s debut hellscape was destroyed within in a matter of minutes. According to the Chapmans they received a phone call from a journalist about the demise of “Hell” asking them if it was true that “Hell” was “on fire”? Now that’s some cosmic irony.
Taking the loss in stride the brothers continued their work and followed up “Hell” with “Fucking Hell” which included over 30,000 figures, and the “Sum of All Evil” which focused on bringing together McDonald’s and Nazi symbolism, tormenting the fictional inhabitants of McDonaldland (you know, the place where French fries grow in gardens, hamburgers grow on trees and friendly fishies frolic around in Filet-O-Fish Lake) with visions of cannibalism, mutilation and death. The multi-faceted hellscape took more than six months to complete with the help of fifteen additional workers. While their hellscapes are about as grim as anything I’ve ever seen (and these eyes have seen a lot of grim), the Chapmans insist that their subversive work is meant to be more humorous than shocking. Here’s more from Jake Chapman on that:
It’s as pessimistic as we can make it, really. But it’s pessimistic in a joyful sense.
Jake’s sentiment made me pause for a moment during which time I recalled my reaction to the final scene in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds wherein the cast gets to rewrite history by obliterating Hitler and his Nazi ilk in a theater. Which was both incredibly gratifying and at times humorous thanks to Tarantino’s uncanny ability to make you laugh while people’s brains are being spattered all over the floor. So, is there joy in seeing a tiny plastic version of Ronald McDonald preparing his signature hamburgers made from the cannibalized remains of dead Nazis? Yes, yes there is some joy there. That said, absolutely everything you are about to see in this post is NSFW. And I’m lovin’ it.
A shot of the original “Hell” hellscape by Jake and Dinos Chapman that was ironically destroyed in a fire.
A shot of “Fucking Hell” featuring Hitler serenely painting on a hilltop.
Another grim angle on “Fucking Hell.”
An image of “In Dreams We Have Seen A Different World.”
“Sum of all Evil.”
Old Kent Road, 2014.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Jake & Dinos Chapman: Jake or Dinos Chapman
‘Heil’ in one: Chapman Bros’ crazy golf Hitler causes outrage
Odd Chess Set