London gallery exhibits 'abject' Hitler art

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London, May 30 : About a century after Adolf Hitler's paintings were rejected by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, a London art gallery is displaying 13 of his watercolours.

The exhibition by famous artist brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman, at the White Cube Gallery in Mayfair, features art pieces bought anonymously from collectors around the world for a total of 115,000 pounds.

The Hitler watercolours are mostly plodding landscapes.

The Chapman brothers are said to have transformed the artwork by painting rainbows, psychedelic skies, floating lovehearts and smiley faces into the background of each picture.

The resulting work at the exhibition titled 'If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be' is now available as a job lot for 685,000 pounds.

According to the Chapman brothers, the work may draw angry reactions, but it is not offensive.

They also deny that they are profiting from Hitler's notoriety.

The artist duo has revealed that the show draws on the joke that the Second World War and the Holocaust might not have happened if Hitler had been more fulfilled as a painter.

"It's endemic to the way people read art, to look for something in a work that's an indicator of some kind of symptomatic trauma or a revelation of the artist's inner self, rather than trying to identify how the work works," Times Online quoted Jake, the younger brother, as saying.

"When you look at the Hitler paintings you try to work out if this person was ill or mad or whether this is in some way axiomatic of someone who will go on to kill seven million people. (But) the drawings of themselves aren't offensive," he added.

Tim Marlow, director of exhibitions at the White Cube, said that the show was not aimed at glorifying Hitler's work.

"There's no question about them paying homage to them. These are very bad paintings - abject paintings - and Jake and Dinos have now annihilated them. We bought them anonymously because the last thing we wanted was to increase the market for Hitler's work," he said.

ANI

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