One of Britain's more thought-provoking artists has said taking children to art galleries is "a total waste of time". Jake Chapman made his controversial comments in an interview with the Independent newspaper. He also made other comments that might anger parents, child development experts, and children. He accused parents of being "arrogant" for thinking children could understand modern art. He said to show a child a painting by the American artist Jackson Pollock was an "insult" to the artist. Pollock pioneered the style of art known as abstract expressionism. Chapman explained that it's like telling the artist his work is "as moronic as a child". He added: "Children are not human yet."
Chapman's comments have created a stir in the art world. Award-winning artist Anthony Gormley said: "I don't think art is to be understood. It's to be experienced….It is to be felt. Feeling comes before understanding." A spokesman from London's National Gallery said: "Children benefit a great deal from visiting art galleries and museums. It widens their horizons." BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz suggested Chapman's comments were designed to manipulate the media to get more attention. He said: "The formula is simple: When you have an exhibition to promote, say something mildly inflammatory to the press, and watch the column inches…and ticket sales soar."