Ofili turned a room at the National Gallery into an idyll. A nightclub mural of curvaceous, moustached floozies paraded and lounged around the walls in pearly grey light. The centrepiece was a large tapestry triptych, an impossible Eden before the fall. Ghanaian Italian footballer Mario Balotelli poured the drinks for a loving couple on the beach. Silent music played. This was a makeshift myth set in the tropics, liquid, languorous and lush, as vivid as a Technicolor musical.
Image: Chris Ofili, The Caged Bird's Song, 2014–2017
Wool, cotton and viscose.
Triptych, left and right panels each 280 x 184 cm; centre panel 280 x 372 cm
Installation view, Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic, National Gallery, 26 April – 28 August 2017
© Chris Ofili. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London, The Clothworkers’ Company and Dovecot Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh
Photography: Gautier Deblonde