Chris Ofili
English artist



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Chris Ofili
English artist
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Sure, artists like to mix it up, but poop and glitter?? Throw in the Virgin Mary and you’ve got Chris Ofili’s secret recipe for decidedly controversial art.

To make his work even more risqué, he might decide to add some images of female genitalia and fan them out all over his deliciously gaudy canvases. Who doesn't love a vagina collage? The art world certainly did. Ofili climbed high up the artsy achievements ladder, fast. A member of the Young British Artists group, he came to fame through Charles Saatchi’s exhibitions, most significantly the traveling show Sensation in 1997. And sensational he is.

Your typical Ofili piece will contain a noteworthy quantity of elephant dung, glitter, resin, layers of paint and magazine cutouts. The subject matter includes stereotypes from black culture, imagery from hip-hop, jazz, the Bible, and even Zimbabwean cave paintings. Could the elephant dung be a clever (albeit sort of gross) symbol of his African descent?

People might presume Ofili is celebrating the idea of blackness through these familiar images that draw the viewer in through strange, sexy, sparkly canvases. But there’s an undercurrent in his work that suggests it’s actually trying to reveal the go-to associations people have with "blackness" and thus critiquing racial stereotypes. In any case, religious nutjobs hate him, so we love him.



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Here is what Wikipedia says about Chris Ofili

Christopher Ofili, CBE (born 10 October 1968) is a British Turner Prize-winning painter who is best known for his paintings incorporating elephant dung. He was one of the Young British Artists. Since 2005, Ofili has been living and working in Trinidad and Tobago, where he currently resides in Port of Spain. He also lives and works in London and Brooklyn.

Early life and education

Ofili was born in Manchester to May and Michael Ofili. When he was eleven, his father left the family and moved back to Nigeria. Ofili was for some years educated at St. Pius X High School for Boys, and then at Xaverian College in Victoria Park, Manchester. Ofili completed a foundation course in art at Tameside College in Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester and then studied in London, at the Chelsea School of Art from 1988 to 1991 and at the Royal College of Art from 1991 to 1993. In the autumn of 1992, he got a one-year exchange scholarship to Universität der Künste Berlin.

Ofili visited Trinidad for the first time in 2000, when he was invited by an international art trust to attend a painting workshop in Port of Spain. He permanently moved to Trinidad in 2005. He lives with his wife Roba, former singer with trip-hop band Attica Blues, whom he married in 2002. He maintains a studio on Lady Chancellor Road, about ten minutes from downtown Port of Spain, in Trinidad.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Chris Ofili.