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Chris Ofili: Paradise Lost


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About the Author

Born in 1968 in Manchester, England, Chris Ofili received his BFA from the Chelsea School of Art, London in 1991 and his MFA from the Royal College of Art, London in 1993. In 2005, the artist joined David Zwirner, where he has had two solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York. Ofili rose to prominence in the 1990s for his complex and playful multilayered paintings, which he bedecked with a signature blend of resin, glitter, collage, and, often, elephant dung. His recent works-vibrant, symbolic, and frequently mysterious-draw upon the lush landscapes and local traditions of the island of Trinidad. Employing a diverse range of aesthetic and cultural sources, including, among others, Zimbabwean cave paintings, blaxploitation films, Italian soccer player Mario Balotelli, and modernist painting, Ofili's work investigates the intersection of passion, identity, and representation. Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, a geographer and writer, is the author of Island People (2016) and the co-editor of Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas (2016). His work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Harper's, Artforum, and The Nation, among many other publications. He teaches at New York University and lives in Manhattan, but spends as much time as possible on other islands.


"For me 'Paradise Lost' is Ofili creating his own conceptual, eroticized, blacker, and less glowingly Buddhist Rothko Chapel."--Jerry Saltz "New York Magazine"

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