Insult to Injury
Jake & Dinos Chapman
In 2001, as part of their ongoing obsession with Francisco Goya's work, Jake and Dinos Chapman purchased one of the few remaining sets of the Disasters of War prints, made from the artist's original plates by the Goya Foundation in 1937. Produced by Goya between 1810 and 1820 as an attack on the horrors of war and its supposed romance and idealism, this group of 80 images has since become emblematic of art's moral voice, as well as a powerful template for the representation of the gross insanity of such conflict. Disasters of War has been idolized by generations of artists, notably Picasso and Dali, who were both directly inspired by Goya's anti-war polemic. The Chapmans meticulously "rectified" their Goya prints, drawing on top of what must be the most revered set of prints in existence. The artists superimposed cartoon faces, either those of clowns or puppies, onto figures Goya had intended as allegories of human suffering. Entitled Insult to Injury, this reworked series has been seen variously as an evil and meaningless desecration by vandals, and as the ultimate homage to Goya's masterpiece, a fitting extension of his despair. In making the book that records the Chapmans' new work, reproductions were made directly from the embellished Goya prints themselves. The result is an unprecedented print quality for the images, which are reproduced at actual size, and in four colors. The 80 plates are complemented by a previously unpublished text by Jake Chapman.