“The tendency of blue towards deepening is so strong that, especially in deep tones, it becomes more intensive and seems more characteristically inward. The deeper that blue becomes, the more it summons man into infinity, awakens in him a longing for purity and ultimately for the supernatural.” – Wassily Kandisky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, 1910
“My work and the way that I work comes out of experimentation, but it also comes out of a love of painting, a love affair with painting.”– Chris Ofili
“I’m trying to make paintings that make you hear them, rather than see them. So actually, you’re looking at music. So it will teach your eyes to hear, and your ears to see.” – Chris Ofili
Chris Ofili is a Nigerian British artist who emerged as one of the most influential members of the Young British Artists (YBAs) group. He was one of the few African/Caribbean artists to break through as a member of the YBAs and won the Turner Prize in 1998. Ofili’s work utilises elements of high art and popular culture to examine the historical and cultural black experience. He works with a bright palette in a variety of textures and is notable for his use of elephant dung, a practice which has frequently created controversy. For Chris Ofili, the use of dung is a way of literally and psychologically linking his paintings to the earth. When used in his work, Ofili attaches lumps of dung directly to the canvas. On the topic of this application he said: “somehow it makes the painting feel more relaxed, instead of being pinned upon the wall like it’s being crucified.” Chris Ofili’s signature figurative works are rendered through the build-up of layers of paint and collaged materials including glitter, magazine, cut-outs and resin.
Born 1968, Manchester. Based in Trinidad and Tobago.