Go See – London: Yuri and Konstantin Shamanov (aka the Chapman brothers) "Good News" in Orel Art, through September 26, 2009

July 31st, 2009

Hang This Rebel, Konstantin Shamanov (Chapman). Via Orel Art

Orel Art, a gallery in London that specializes in Russian contemporary art, hosts an exhibition titled “Good News!”  The show presents works that are no longer dictated by the fluctuating ideas on what is considered “good” or “bad” art; ideas that have been defined throughout Russian history by the equally fluctuating reigning political regimes. The gallery attempted also, to showcase works that break free from the habitual presence of national identity in Russian art.  There is, however, a catch. “The break from national identity” may have exceeded the expectations of Orel Art. Shamanov brothers, whose work is at the core of the exhibit, are really the British Chapman brothers. The show ends September 26, 2009.

Exhibition View “Good News” show in OrelArt, sculptures by Shamanov (Chapman) brothers. Via Orel Art

Related Links:
Yuri and Konstantin Shamanov bio [Orel Art]
Jake and Dino Chapman bio [White Cube]
How to of Britain’s leading artists duped the art world by pretending to be Russian [Daily Mail]
What a Sham… [Guardian]
Artistic Gags with Yuri and Konstantin Shamanov [This is London]
Unmasked, the famous brothers whose disguise duped art world [This is London]
Jake and Dinos Chapman sham exhibition Good News [Times online]
Good News, Galérie Orel Art, London [Financial Times]

Chapman brothers disguised as fictional Yuri and Konstantin Shamanov. Via Artchronika

More text and pictures after the jump…

Runaway Sculpture, Konstantin Shamanov (Chapman) Via Orel Art

“At the core of GOOD NEWS! stands an unprecedented art collaboration by the underground, Constructivist-inspired Russian artists Konstantin and Yuri Shamanov, founders of the Chameleon art movement based out of Moscow” – claims the press release for the show. However, it has been discovered, with the growing interest in the unknown Russian brothers, that Shamanovs are really the well-established British artists: Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Jake and Dinos Chapman – the British artists. Via Guardian

Before the sham has been revealed, Jake and Dinos Chapman have choreographed a a great show. Biographies of Shamanovs presented to the Orel Art gallery, a fake art movement they claimed to have founded and led, and the first interview they gave- are all elements of the elaborate ruse.

Study for a Flower Satellite, Yuri Shamanov (Chapman) at Orel Art in London. Via Orel Art

In biographic information presented to Orel Art, Shamanovs stated to have been born April 12, 1961. This date is significant in the history of Soviet Union  as the day when Yuri Gagarin became the first person to travel into space. When asked in an interview if this has influenced Shamanovs, they replied that Yuri was named after Gagarin and Konstantin was supposed to be called “Vissarion” after an established literary critic Vissarion Belinskii, but ended up with a name Konstantin, since their father did not find the name “Vissarion” to be a good fit for a real man. Also, the brothers replied that they wanted to be astronauts when they were young. The answer is clearly a comment on the ideals of the Soviet Union imposed by the Cold War, where every schoolboy dreamed to become an astronaut.

Composition in Space no 16, Yuri and Konstantin Shamanov (Chapman). Via Orel Art

Shamanovs also claimed in their interview to have known Roman Abramovich. “He drank petrol, when he smoked he set his hair on fire.” they joke.  No wonder, the Shamanov stunt is seen by some to be a criticicsm of the influence of Russian New Money on the art world. If fictitious Chameleon art movement aimed to transform the Russian art scene from within, Jake and Dinos Chapman do not seem to stand too far from the manifesto.

Untitled, Konstantin Shamanov (Chapman) currently at Orel Art, through Spetember 26. Via Orel Art


Daily News Record October 1, 2001 | Askin, Ellen PR, like any business, has its ups and downs. It just seems that in PR the ups are really up and the downs are way down. And sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between the two.

Once, when Marc Silver was working for the Peggy Siegal Company, the firm threw an opening-night party for Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Man in the Iron Mask. Eight thousand screaming fans lined themselves around the block. (That was an up.) But Leo had to be evacuated. (That was a down.) That same night, Jennifer Lopez and Ivanka Trump got into a catfight on the red carpet. (That was an up for the agency — but an obvious down for J.Lo and Ivanka.) Such is the life of a PR guy. Well, not really. When they aren’t attending parties, they’re on the phone — a lot, between five and 10 hours a day. And often that time is spent assuring clients that they aren’t being ignored, particularly when those clients weren’t covered in DNR last week. go to site chinese food menu

Here, five of the hottest young publicists in the men’s wear industry reveal their biggest PR coups, their brand-building secrets and how they get people talking.

Hampton Carney Account Supervisor, Fashion Division, Paul Wilmot Communications Major men’s wear clients: Abercrombie & Fitch, Sean John, Ecko Unlimited, Thomas Pink, IWC watches How did you get into PR?

When I graduated college I moved to Miami Beach and got a job in the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach as a pool boy. I was discovered by Kal Ruttenstein of Bloomingdale’s, who taught me everything I know about fashion and introduced me to all the stylists, and fashion directors and designers. That’s what started my thirst for fashion. Eventually I moved to New York and interviewed with Paul Wilmot, who took me in with no public relations experience and taught me everything I know about PR. I’ve been here for four years now.

What’s the secret to getting people talking about a client/brand?

I don’t think there is any one secret. I do a lot of talking on the phone and cultivating personal relationships with editors, producers and reporters. It takes really great personality skills. You have to be interested in what you are doing and sound that way; otherwise there is no way to convince someone else to be interested in them, never mind write about them.

Why should a client choose your agency? Paul [Wilmot], Stormy [Stokes] and Ridgely [Brode] all have great reputations in the industry. They have a great work ethic and we do our best to make clients happy. But when you are looking at new clients you have to have personality matches. They know what we do from our examples and if that seems like an appropriate fit, we go from there. But there are so many excellent PR firms out there, they will find a perfect match.

How would you describe your company’s image? Our client list is like a Chinese food menu — a little bit of everything, which keeps it fresh for everyone that works here. Whether it’s hotels, restaurants, fashion designers or famous personalities, it is such an interesting mix.

How many hours a day do you spend on the phone?

I am on the phone until about 9 or 10 at night, even after I get home — it doesn’t stop when you leave the office. I usually run the battery out of my cell phone every day, and it’s hot when I put it down at night.

What is your golden rule of PR?

Always be honest — that way you can go home and sleep at night.

Mark Silver Partner, Factory Communications Major men’s wear clients: Custo Barcelona, Icarus, Slane & Slane, Donald J. Pliner, Goldin-Feldman What made you want to get into the PR business?

I graduated college early and was watching Absolutely Fabulous and thought it looked like a job I could do. So I packed up and moved to New York from Florida. I thought PR looked really easy. Little did I know.

What makes your agency so hot?

We are small and we’re hooked up. We hope to be forecasters of next season and beyond for our clients. I heard that once someone went up to Karl Lagerfeld and said, “Karl, you are so ahead of your time,” to which Karl responded, “My darling, it is much better to be of your time than ahead of it. To be ahead of the time means nothing.” What I hope to do is translate things that are really ahead of their time into the present.

What was the most blatant PR stunt you ever pulled?

Warren Tricomi wanted to promote a new hairstyle, so I got mannequins’ heads and put wigs on them and sent them out to editors in beautiful hatboxes wrapped in ribbon. It freaked some people out, but got a lot of press into the salon to interview Warren.

Was there ever a missed opportunity that still haunts you?

This last Oscar Week, Benicio Del Toro was supposed to wear Slane & Slane cuff links to the Academy Awards. We spent the entire day driving through L.A. to get them to his apartment just two hours before showtime and he never even wore them. That was a nightmare.

What’s your golden rule of PR?

Don’t lie. You will always get caught, even if you don’t know it.

Joe Lupo Partner, Visual Therapy Major men’s wear clients: Cloak, Oxxford Clothes at retail What made you want to get into this business?

All my life I loved to dress people. I was best-dressed in high school and always loved fashion. Before starting Visual Therapy I was an investment banker and I would help my private clients shop for clothes off-hours. I always helped friends too.

What’s the secret to getting people talking about a client/brand?

You have to believe in it, you have to own it, it has to be something that’s in you. You can’t take on a client that you do not absolutely love and wouldn’t wear yourself. It’s a serious process to take on a new client, a huge commitment, because they have to meld well with our other clients. Our ultimate goal is to work with a client and bring them up to a level where they are ready to get their own PR firm in-house and move on. We don’t like to be defined as public relations, more a luxury consulting firm. chinesefoodmenunow.com chinese food menu

How many hours a day do you spend on the phone?

Oh, God, it seems like 24. Whenever my ear turns red, it’s time to hang up. At least eight hours a day.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?

Probably when we helped J. Mendel reposition himself as a ready-to-wear designer. When he started with us he was mainly a furrier, but we repositioned him and watched him flourish. He is no longer a client of ours, which means we accomplished our goal of bringing him to the next level, although we still work with him often.

Who’s your PR hero?

Oprah Winfrey. She has more control than anyone over the media and she can change the course of America, and that’s really powerful. She also listens to her heart, which is what I try to do.

What’s your golden rule of PR?

Never over-promise. Over-deliver.

Kingsley Patrick McGregor Account Supervisor, Fashion Division, LaForce & Stevens Major men’s wear clients: Perry Ellis, Byblos men’s by Sandy Dalal What made you get into PR?

I got the bug for the fashion industry at an early age. I didn’t know how it would fit in to my life because I’m not good with my hands, so I can’t design. I thought PR would be a good fit for me; it’s not just about marketing and communications but how you also have to be a diplomat and work well with clients and with the press.

How is PR different today from when you started?

When I started here, the economy was very different. Now everyone is hurting at retail, so our efforts are even more important and vital for our clients. There are fewer clients out there and more agencies. I don’t think an agency can only survive on fashion. Diversity is important.

What’s the secret to getting people talking?

I try to befriend as many writers, assistants and so on as possible. For a while I would take assistants to lunch out of my own pocket. It’s worth it because as years go by the names go up on the masthead and they remember me as a friend.

What is your golden rule of PR?

Shake people’s hands, look them in the eyes and always return phone calls. My father is in marketing and my mentality was shaped by him. He taught me you should treat a 12-year-old with the same respect as a CEO. You never know when you’ll meet again.

Liad (Lee) Krispin Partner, KRT Major men’s wear clients: Levi’s Red, Levi’s Vintage, William Reid What’s the secret to getting people talking?

At the end of the day it is the brand itself that is most important. After that, it’s delivery. If you get the product in the right pockets, it ends up trickling down to the rest of the people that need to know about it. With that said, it’s also about relationships and developing them over the years.

What was the biggest accomplishment of KRT?

Maybe it was when Daryl K did her first big show on a Friday night and WWD put her on the cover of Monday’s paper. Because Calvin and Donna usually show on Fridays and end up getting the Monday cover, it was a big accomplishment. She was virtually unknown.

We also feel partly responsible for the fact that Levi’s is cool again. It wasn’t easy because everyone was focusing on Levi’s financial trouble. We were able to take the focus away from this by properly introducing this new product to the appropriate press and style makers.

What was the best party you ever threw?

The 125th anniversary of the blue jeans hosted by Levi’s. We rented out Astroland in Coney Island and bussed out 700 editors and friends. The rides were all free and open. Everyone was drunk and throwing up on the roller coaster — I can’t tell you who. People had an incredible time at that party.

What is your golden rule of PR?

Be honest, continuously develop relationships, and only push ideas and products that we would embrace ourselves.

Askin, Ellen