Chris Ofili Afrodizzia

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Chris Ofili's Afrodizzia Interpretation using Technique, Effects, meaning and Context of Painting

Chris Ofilis's Afrodizzia Interpretation using Technique, Effects, meaning and Context of Painting


Chris Ofili is a british painter born in Manchester. He studied at the Chelsea school of art. Ofili was a member of the Young British Artist group which was quite a big accomplishment. He became more and more popular and well known as his work was shown in more galleries. Ofili's work is very much to do with his Nigerian Background. He also has a very distinct style and after finding out that he had gone on a trip to Zimbabwe, i think this is where his technique came from.

In many of his paintings elephant dung was used in the painting of the images, which were built up with layers of paint as well as other materials. Thus the paintings were built up like collages. His work was also sometimes surrounded by controversy. In 1999 his painting "The Virgin Mary" was exhibited at the Brooklyn Musem of Art. This resulted in a lawsuit between the Mayor of New York City and the museum as the painting depicted a black madonna surrounded by offensive images, closeups of the female gentalia, pornographic images cut out of magazines as well as elephant dung (Meecham & Sheldon, 2000, 90-96).

Chris Ofili, Afrodizzia

Interpretation using Technique, Effects and Colours of Painting

Chris Ofili, Afrodizzia, 2nd version, 1996, acrylic, oil, resin, paper collage, glitter, map pins and elephant dung on canvas with two dung supports, 244 × 183 cm.

The word 'palette' is used when describing the number of different colours that are present in an art work. A painting with many different colours, for example Chris Ofili's Afrodizzia, can be said to feature a wide palette of colours. In Paula Rego's The Dance the range of colours is more limited, comprising mostly blue and yellow hues, so the painting can be said to feature a narrow palette (Eisenman, 2002, 43-48).

Having identified the variety of colours that have been used in an art work, it's important to explore the effects of this. In Afrodizzia for example, the wide colour palette might be seen to convey a sense of confusion, giving no clues about which part of the painting to focus on first. It might also be seen to contribute to a joyous or cheerful feel. It is described Afrodizzia as being 'psychedelic' and 'colourful'. Clearly the colours had an immediate impact on me. In comparison, The Dance, with its more limited palette, feels calm, stately and subdued, effects that seem to be in keeping with the moonlit scene represented.

Ofili uses a great deal of his drawings as ideas which like many others - he follows through in paintings. At Southampton works such as 'Blossom' were on view, as well as the series of 'Captain Shit' paintings. All of Ofili's paintings seem to follow similar themes. They are about racism, pornography, exploitation, and the typical image of the black ...
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