A look at Chris Ofili's work
I borrowed a book from the library recently about the work of Chris Ofili the painter who won the Turner Prize in 1998. It is simply titled Chris Ofili edited by Judith Nesbitt. http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/chrisofili/default.shtm.
When I spotted the book I was drawn to it because, although I had heard a bit about his work and his use of elephant dung, I had not really seen much of it. In my circle of friends mention had been made too that there was a similarity between my work and his. A quick flick through the book revealed that we were of a similar age (I was 5 years older) he was British born and lived in Manchester, he was a painter and was now living in Trinidad.
I was taken aback by the range of emotions I experienced on reading the text the first being humour. Then I was shocked at his controversial titles and work created as a response to what was occuring at the time in his environment, the music scene, and what was referred to as "Afro-centricity"
The elephant dung additions to his work adds humour and it does make one question his reasoning for using it and it is in searching for the answers that a fascination develops.
I was thrilled that others thought to mention the similarity between our work (even without knowing much about his work), but now having had a chance to find out more about him and his ideas I am absolutely inspired. I must add, that for me the similarities are mainly in his use of strong colour and texture, the female image and the black/African element. His patterns and textures created by his use of medium also has a familiarity and I would love to see him work.
My favourite paintings are No woman, no cry and Blossom as seen on the front cover in the photo above. Additionally I am impressed with the size of his work and his watercolours. I doubt if textile artist would be able to include elephant dung within their work but like painters we have been known to use odd things so watch this space.