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Get To Know: Chris Ofili

November 2, 2009

chris-ofili-painter-brit-naijaBritish-Nigerian painter Chris Ofili has a four page feature in the latest edition of GIANT magazine (the one with actress Paula Patton on the cover.) So I decided to do a “Get To Know” feature on him for FG2BH.

Ofili became famous for his portrait of the Virgin Mary that was filled with (wait for it) porn and elephant dung. The painting spark controversy when it was showcased at the Brooklyn Musuem of Art in 1999. Former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani proclaimed in reponse to the painting – “There’s nothing in the First Amendment that supports horrible and disgusting projects.” (Quite interesting, isn’t it?)

Ofili talked about that incident to Giant: “It is the most exciting thing to some people to wake up in the morning to check and see if people still recognize you. But that’s not really what I’m about. For me, it’s always been about the work and to continue to be inspired by the work. I have a fear of ever feeling mediocre.” giant mag

Ofili has moved to Trinidad from his native London because “it felt like I’d be moving right into the heart of my subject. The things that I see now that interest me are right there and so close, like sitting in the first row of a cinema.” giant mag Ofili’s artwork has references to traditional African art, popular culture images and hip-hop music.

Quick facts on Chris Ofili via Wikipedia & BBC News

  • Born in Manchester on October 10, 1968
  • Uses blaxploitation films and gangsta rap references to question racial & sexual stereotypes in a humorous way.
  • Studied Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art
  • Obtained Masters degree in painting from Royal College of Art
  • Awarded a British Council Travel scholarship to Zimbabwe in 1992
  • His trip to Zimbabwe influenced his artwork style.

Below is a must-see YouTube clip of Chris Ofili artwork…

Below is two of Chris Ofili’s most famous artwork…

Left: The Holy Virgin Mary (1996)//Right: No Woman No Cry (1998)


photo credits: Guardian Arts 1 & 2

3 Comments leave one →
  1. jess permalink
    March 30, 2011 8:37 am



  2. 2bchoopla permalink*
    March 30, 2011 6:21 pm

    A grammatical error is all you want to focus on from the article? Not the greatest that is Chris Ofili? Much appreciated and remain blessed, LOL! Even writers make mistakes, lol!

  3. Jess permalink
    June 8, 2011 8:44 pm

    ManChester is the greatest of the greatest!
    Thankyou for blessing me though :’) I feel honoured!

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