Chris Ofili was born in Manchester, England, in 1968, and currently lives and works in Trinidad. After completing his Foundation Course at Tameside College of Technology, he received his BA in Fine Art from the Chelsea School of Art in 1991 and his MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art in 1993.

Ofili creates intricate, kaleidoscopic paintings and works on paper that deftly merge abstraction and figuration. Ofili rose to prominence in the 1990s for his complex and playful multi-layered paintings, which he bedecked with a signature blend of resin, glitter, collage, and, often, elephant dung. His works—vibrant, symbolic, and frequently mysterious—draw upon the lush landscapes and local traditions of the island of Trinidad, where he has lived since 2005. Employing a diverse range of aesthetic and cultural sources, including, among others, Zimbabwean cave paintings, blaxploitation films, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and modernist painting, Ofili’s work investigates the intersection of desire, identity, and representation.

The painting, No Woman, No Cry - Ofili's tribute to the late South London teenager Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in a racially motivated attack - formed part of his entry to the Turner Prize in 1998, when he became the first painter since Howard Hodgkin in 1985 to win this prestigious award. He was selected to represent Britain at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions worldwide, including a mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain, London (2010); and New Museum, New York (2014), travelling to Aspen Art Museum (2015).  In 2017, Ofili was a recipient of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to art. 

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