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.