Artists deface goya masterpiece- front runners to win to prize

Check out some pics and a review here

Basically, these 2 brothers- Jake and Dinos Chapman, quite famous on the modern Brit Art scene for making very controversial works of art, have outdone themselves this time- they’ve bought a copy of the rare set of etchings by Goya called “Th Disasters of War” ( a very disturbing series about torture and dismemberment in times of war), and defaced them all with silly faces.
Long story short, this is one of the works that has got them nominated for the most prestigious prize for modern British artists- the Turner prize, and at the moment, they are the favourites to win. The critics seem to approve of them simply because they’ve grown rather jaded and it’s been a long time since they’ve been REALLY shocked.

Here on the homefront, my B.F is absolutely spitting with rage :mad: as Goya is his favourite artist, and he’s disgusted that some fellow artists could ruin one of the greatest series of etchings ever made.

As for me, I’m inclined not to get too hopping mad, for the same reason that mother’s ignore small children who are being beastly just to get some adult attention.

Any more thoughts on the matter?
For those of you who feel as we do, here’s a little good news


In my mind it does. This isn’t “The Family of Carlos IV”. There are other prints of these out there. Now this copy is unique, where before it wasn’t.

SmackFu is right. That it was possibly late-press but definitely a multiple does mitigate the “crime”. There are Goyas that could not bear defacement, but these prints aren’t among them.

Here’s a selection of some other acts of art defacement, similar to the gentleman who threw red paint on Mr. Chapman:

The media is idiotic for buying the gimmick, since chopping has been an internet artform since time immemorial. A few members could pump out more modifications of infinitely higher quality than a whole gaggle of worthless “artists.”

I agree with your boyfriend. This is an awful act of vandalization of Goya’s work.

Each print that’s made from an artist’s plate is an original work of art–they’re not just “copies” or facsimiles. Furthermore, this was an entire set of the Disasters of War etchings (80 in all). While it’s not the only set of Disasters of War prints in the world, this particular set was already unique in and of itself before the Chapmans altered them.

There was a historical significance to this particular edition of prints. It was issued in 1937 as a protest against the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War, as Jonathan Jones discusses. This set should be considered as part of the same historical period that produced Picasso’s Guernica (painted in that same year).

I’ll admit that this is not as great a loss as one of Goya’s paintings would have been. On the other hand, it’s not as trivial as Duchamp’s painting a moustache on a postcard of the Mona Lisa. This still involved destroying original Goya prints.

I much prefer another work by the Chapmans, Sex, which takes the composition from a Disasters of War print as the basis for a life-size sculptural ensemble. It’s way over the top (with details of crawling maggots and such), but at least they didn’t destroy another artist’s work to make it.