The next time you visit an art gallery, Jake Chapman thinks you’d be better off leaving the children at home. The British artist, who works closely with his brother Dinos and is himself the father of three, said that bringing kids to view art is a “total waste of time,” the Independent reported. Furthermore, he labelled parents who think their children could comprehend the works of artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko as “arrogant.” Placing a child in front of a painting like a Pollock, he thinks, is “like saying…it’s as moronic as a child? Children are not human yet.”
Unsurprisingly, his remarks have incensed many, including Guardian writer Dia Birkett, who accused Chapman of snobbery and argued for the importance of introducing art to a child from a young age. Research supports her claim, too, demonstrating the educational value of taking students to museums on field trips as it “exposes students to a diversity of ideas that challenge them with different perspectives on the human condition.”
The brothers are no strangers to controversy — they are known for their explicit works, many of which include sexually explicit, mutated sculptures of children. BBC’s arts editor Will Gompertz, in fact, notes that the pair has a knack for manipulating the media to draw attention to their work, writing that Jake Chapman’s recent string of comments “is a beautifully crafted example of the art,” having outraged enough people to likely boost ticket sales. The Chapmans are currently crowdsourcing funds for a major upcoming exhibition, which they are promoting as “their biggest, baddest show yet.” They have not yet reached their goal.
In conclusion: bring children on visits to art galleries, just make sure they don’t try to take a nap on the sculptures.