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Conversation Piece

Chris Ofili Wants to Help You Do Your Dishes

By

Chris Ofili Wants to Help You Do Your Dishes
Chris Ofili’s Afromuses (Man) Tea Towel, 2014

Here’s what you need to know to bring Chris Ofili’sAfromuses Tea Towel into your kitchen (and your heart):

 

1. A member of the influential Young British Artists group, Ofili is best known for colorful figurative paintings rendered in his distractive graphic style. Many of his works incorporate various collaged elements, including most notably the elephant dung that earned him a well-publicized rebuke from New York City’s then-mayor Rudy Giuliani for being “sick.”

 

2. Despite the controversies his more subversive pieces have engendered, Ofili was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 1998—the first black artist to do so. He’s since gone on to have solo shows in museums and institutions around the world and is currently represented by the heavy-hitting international galleries Victoria Miro, David Zwirner, and Contemporary Fine Arts.

 

3. In this collaborative project by Third Drawer Down Studio and the New Museum (occasioned by Ofili’s 2014 New Museum exhibition “Night and Day”), works from Ofili’s 1995-2005 watercolor series “Afromuses” are printed onto high-quality teal towels designed for both display and use. “Afromuses” features portraits representing “figurative expressions” rather than individuals, each derived from the history of art as well as impressions from everyday life.

 

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