The couple in 'Afro Lunar Lovers' hold each other in a glamorous embrace; they seem to have paused for a kiss during a romantic dance. Each wears formal evening dress and the mood and scene could be taken from a revised Hollywood film still. Ofili has expressed two opposing ideas about these works: on the one hand they are British stereotypes taken from travel brochures of an archetypal Afro-Caribbean beach holiday, and on the other, representations of an earthly form of Eden, a theme developed by Ofili, linking the figures in his work to the idea of a modern Adam and Eve. Significantly, his protagonists, with their Afro hairstyles, have a distinct 1960s look about them. Ofili has drawn explicitly on the Afro throughout his work as a symbol of black identity and black pride, and each of the works in this series is prefixed by the word 'Afro'.
'Afro Lunar Lovers' is part of a larger body of work made by Ofili for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2003. 'Within Reach', Ofili's title for the exhibition, refers to the utopian paradise that he feels could be achieved through the end of racial hatred and war.
Chris Ofili was born in Manchester in 1968. He studied at Chelsea School of Art from 1988 to 1991 and for an MA at the Royal College of Art in 1992. His practice draws on a variety of influences from Black British culture, using popular or mass cultural stereotypes to subvert and draw attention to their everyday use. Ofili was represented in the influential 'Sensation' exhibition in 1997, and won the Turner Prize in 1998.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.