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
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