The outlines of a man and a woman as they dance on a beach are just visible in Chris Ofili's screenprint. The figures are dressed in formal clothes and the indentations made by their footprints in the sand cover the foreground of the image. In the background the leaves of a single palm tree tower over the couple and in the far distance, a mountain, reminiscent of the volcano of St Lucia, is illuminated by stars.
Although most well known for his brightly coloured decorative works, since 2002, Ofili has created a body of work which explores sexual relationships, the nature of love and black racial politics. This work is related to another screenprint by Ofili in the Government Art Collection, entitled 'Afro Lunar Lovers' (2003) in which a heterosexual couple stand cheek to cheek under moonlight in a scene reminiscent of a 1950s Hollywood film still.
In using different shades of an intense blue to create the image, Ofili pays reference to the Expressionist group, Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), a loose association of artists formed in 1911. The group, whose members included Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, advocated the use of psychologically charged colours to focus on spiritual themes.
Chris Ofili was born in Manchester and completed an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art in 1992. He was included in the influential Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1997. He had a major exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, in 1998, and won the Turner Prize the same year. Ofili was the first black artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2002. His work is held in the Tate Collection and he currently lives in Trinidad.
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