Former British Prime Minister David Cameron almost gets physical with artist during London Gallery Weekend

It may have been just a small pop-up exhibition that ran from last Wednesday to Sunday, but Jake Chapman’s first solo show since breaking his artistic partnership with his brother Dinos (the telling title Me, myself and the eye), would always attract attention.

At the private lookout, a high-profile crowd snatched Paradise Row Project’s temporary Mayfair space to watch the unveiling of some vintage Chapman-esque smiley banners. These were satirically adapted for our hand-wringing environmental era by being adorned with the words EXTINCTION/ANNHILATION, and accompanied by a new range of African-style pastiche sculptures, including sprouting phallic hooks covered in beaded fetish objects and smoking joss sticks. Guests included artists Tracey Emin, Tim Noble and Conrad Shawcross, writer Will Self and model Kate Moss. She is a friend and rural neighbor of Chapman, who describes herself as “The Colonel Kurtz of the Cotswolds”.

And it certainly was the horror, the horror for Chapman when another notable Cotswolds resident, former British Prime Minister David Cameron, also showed up at the opening, along with his wife Samantha. “When I saw them, I was so shocked,” said Chapman, who declined the invitation. ‘I asked him, what the hell are you doing here? It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for me.” When he merely “mumbles” from Cameron in response, the famously volatile artist considered performing a forced ejection, but decided to pack his punch. was carrying a burly-looking, unblinking ex-serviceman, so I thought it would probably hurt me more than if I got a hold of him,” he says.

Chapman also admits that he takes a wry pleasure from observing the incongruous marriage of his nihilistic artworks to an apparently ignorant ex-Etonian former prime minister. “Getting him out of the gallery because I felt he shouldn’t be there was actually the wrong way,” he says, adding that “[the art] was like a Venus – or should I say Penis – flytrap that only confirmed how useless and inept he is. How stupid could he be to stand next to banners that read “Extinction and Annihilation” without noticing the clash between him and the work? So we didn’t have to kick him out, it actually did the job and it worked well!” he says.

Nevertheless, Chapman made his feelings for Cameron abundantly clear when he posted a photo of Cameron to his Instagram later that evening, supported by the Annihilation banner and adorned with the word C**t. When Instagram deleted this, it replaced it with the message: “He’s Still AC**t”.

It’s doubtful whether such shenanigans will be repeated next month, when Paradise Row opens its latest exhibition at its current location, a group exhibition curated by the chin-thumping French philosopher-curator Nicolas Bourriaud, whose concept of relational aesthetics offers a somewhat more subdued atmosphere. kind of interaction between artist and audience.

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