Critical Writing Index

Chris Ofili - artist

by Louisa Buck

Artforum, Sept. 1997, v. 36, no. 1, p. 112

This article is a good introduction to the work of British-Nigerian artist Chris Ofili. He is most well-known for his use of elephant dung on the canvas which has created a "ready-made back-to-Africa-and-into-identity-myth." His work, which uses dots, is inspired by the ancient cave paintings of Zimbabwe and Aboriginal patterning. In his works, beauty meets kitsch in seductive scatterings of glitter, flamboyant patterning and magazine cutouts and he deals with issues of identity, ethnicity and exoticism. Nature collides with culture. According to the author, "Ofili is flip, funny, savage and serious."

The video documentary "The Eye - Chris Ofili" features film footage of his work. Shot in London, Germany and Venice, this film relates the creation of 'within reach' - his artwork for the Venice Biennale, as well as his installation of 13 canvases, 'The Upper Room'.

ITEM 1997.086 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996Chris Ofili

Captain ShitChris Ofili

Legend of the Black StarsChris Ofili

Captain FantasticChris Ofili

Affrodizzia, 1996Chris Ofili

Flower Heads, 1996Chris Ofili

Shithead, 1993Chris Ofili