The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth but not the Mineral Rights

2007
Corten steel

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights comprises three large-scale sculptural dinosaurs entitled The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Towering at over 8 metres, these impressive corten steel works are a development from an earlier installation, Hell 65 Million Years BC, first exhibited in 2004, which depicted a prehistoric scene of dinosaurs amassed around a volcano. Featuring over seventy individual sculptures of child-like dinosaurs, constructed out of toilet paper and classroom materials, the work highlighted the brothers’ belief in the inevitability of death.

The title is a quote by the oil and art tycoon J. Paul Getty who appropriated and extended the biblical verse The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, which promotes the civilized and respectful manner of setting goals and fulfilling them, into a cynical reflection on the necessary grind of capitalist and empirical expansion. Resembling a make-your-own children’s play kit these dinosaurs appear ostensibly clumsy and lovable, however aligned with this title they signal the humour, and deceptive quality of first impressions, commonly associated with the Chapmans.

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About The Artist

For over twenty years Jake and Dinos Chapman have been working collaboratively to produce a colossal and controversial body of work that addresses such inflammatory subjects as the inability to repress human violence, precarity of universal ideologies and the presupposed innocence of children. Nazism is used
to reference characters who should be in hell, as a means of creating a setting for violence and as a symbol of modern evil. With a rich catalogue of imagery and appropriated contemporary iconography, from commercial logos to pornographic sex dolls, the brothers’ courageous refusal to compromise or censor makes their work honest and painfully reflective of our age.

The Chapman Brothers’ unyielding depictions of the brutality of contemporary systems with irreverence and humour often succeed in remaining with you. Their insistence on confronting audiences with a violence at the core of humanity has an antagonising poetry to it. The barbarity has no trace of the subtlety of others who also comment on of the horrors of modernity such as JG Ballard. Instead, the Chapmans’ determination to expose audiences is audaciously progressive. By revealing the horrors of society, the brothers deliver an existential warning of the hazards of social denial with a dose of gore and wit.

‘The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth but not the Mineral Rights’ is currently on display

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Jake and Dinos Chapman

Other Artworks by Jake and Dinos Chapman at CASS

2007

Two Legs Bad, Four Legs Good

Hell, a seminal Chapman Brothers’ work, was destroyed in the fire that engulfed the Charles Saatchi collection in 2004, …