If Hitler Had Been a Hippy

If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy we Would Be[1][2] is a 2008 series of paintings by Jake and Dinos Chapman which deface orginal paintings by Adolf Hitler. The Chapmans previously used a similar ploy on work by Goya (Insult to Injury).

At the end of May 2008 the White Cube Gallery exhibited the 20 authenticated watercolours and oils painted by Adolf Hitler, which the brothers have defaced with hippie motifs. Jake Chapman described most of the dictator’s works as ‘awful landscapes‘ which they had ‘prettified‘.

On a general level, if Rome was the art world capital from the Renaissance to the 1850s, Paris from the 1850s until WWII, a title which Paris lost to New York after the war; could it possibly be that London, with artists such as Emin, Hirst and the Chapmans, is the current art world capital? I don’t see any other country but the UK coming with consistently exciting work.

5 thoughts on “If Hitler Had Been a Hippy

  1. Paul Rumsey

    There was a great programme a couple of weeks ago on channel 4, “The Artful Codgers”. Shaun Greenhalgh was making fake ancient artworks in his garden shed. He made a beautiful “Egyptian Princess”, (which I think should be an Icon Of Erotic Art) and this was sold for £440,000. This man was self taught and learnt everything in the library. He lived at home with his parents in a council house.
    He tried to sell some fake Assyrian sculptures to the British Museum and was found out. Suddenly the “Egyptian Princess” changed from a masterpiece to a worthless bit of stone. Yet it is the same sculpture, it is still just as beautiful. So its £440,000 value lies in its authenticity alone.
    These authenticated Hitler pictures would be worthless if not for the “magic touch” of Hitler. The Chapmans bought 13 for £115,000 so the touch of Hitler is worth £8846 each. They hope to sell for £685,000, that is £52,692 each, so the “touch” of the Chapmans gives the extra value of £43,846 each.
    So what would happen to the value of these works if the Hitlers turned out to be fakes? Would the value drop by Hitlers portion of £8846, or would the work become meaningless and have no value at all.
    And what would happen to the value if, in a few years, the brothers were to reveal that they had employed someone to fake the Hitlers, or had faked them themselves, the works would then be totaly authentic Chapmans but fake Hitlers.

  2. Pingback: Making fake ancient artworks in his garden shed « Jahsonic

  3. nursemyra

    “I don’t see any other country but the UK coming with consistently exciting work”

    come over here and say that…. 🙂

  4. Paul Rumsey

    I read that the Chapmans are now making a comedy film about the art world, it will have to be very good if it is to be better than “The Rebel” (with Tony Hancock) You can see the sculpture scene on Youtube!

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