Dinos Chapman for Time Out

March 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Recently I was commissioned by Time Out London to portrait one of the most important British artists to be working today, Dinos Chapman. Along with his brother Jake Chapman, Dinos has been at the forefront of the British art scene for over twenty years.  I made a mental note not to mention his fellow contemporary Tracey Emin, I understand they don’t exactly hang out together (which is putting it lightly).

My assistant and I turned up five minutes early and Dinos answered the door,

“Haven’t I met you before?”

“Er… I don’t think so, I think I’d remember Dinos.”

“Hm, I’m sure I have, maybe you’ve just got one of those common faces?”

“Yeah, maybe that’s it”

So after Dinos and I greeting each other like old mates he and his lovely soppy dog ushered us down the stairs to the basement. Now I have to admit I was a tad disappointed because I thought I was visiting his art studio that he shares with his brother Jake. As with many editorial shoots you get told the address and a few details but I was expecting the huge studio that I’d checked out on google, the one with large skylights and a beautiful courtyard. The Chapman brothers studio seemed like editorial commission heaven, but unfortunately Dino’s personal music studio didn’t quite match up. But one must soldier on and it’s only what you expect from editorial shoots; nothing ever goes according to plan and even if it does, you feel as if it’s been way too easy.

The brief was to specifically shoot Dinos in situ surrounded  by his music paraphernalia, as he was releasing his debut album ‘Luftbobler’. I have shot in a few music studio’s before and they’ve all visually been the same, basement rooms with a few electrical items, lots of wires and a couple of screens. But this is the nature of editorial, the equivalent of a footballer being thrown on at the end of a match and needing to score the winner with only 15 minutes left, rather than say a sculptor given a piece of rock and slowly chipping away for 3 months. Swings and roundabouts of course as the pay off is that little high when you come away from an editorial. All in all it was a fantastic experience to meet Dinos Chapman and I will definitely be popping back to pick up the notebook I left behind and see if he was serious about giving me that painting of his that he doesn’t like.

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