(born 1968 Manchester, England) British painter. A highly innovative yet controversial contemporary artist, Chris Ofili studied at the Tameside College of Technology from 1987-88, the Chelsea School of Art from 1988-1991, and the Royal College of Art from 1991-1993, where he received a MA in fine art. In 1992 he won a scholarship to travel to Zimbabwe; the trip made a lasting impact on his art. Ofili’s works deal with black identity and culture. He paints in bright colors with various materials incorporated into his works, including his most unique material elephant dung. Ofili is most well known for his work The Holy Virgin Mary that appeared in the 1997 exhibition Sensation and caused an uproar particularly among Catholics for its use of dung and pornographic imagery when the exhibition moved to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Since then, his career has flourished; Ofili continues to receive much success; in 1998 he won the Tate Gallery’s Turner Prize and by 2000 his work was included in the permanent collections of the Tate Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. In 2000 and 2002 he had solo exhibits at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London and in 2003 Ofili was featured in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
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