Edited by Karen Marta and Massimiliano Gioni. Text by Katherine Brinson.

Since the mid-1990s, Chris Ofili's painstakingly crafted paintings and sculptures have dazzled—and often distressed—viewers with a fusion of opposing forces: sacred meets profane, formal bows to demotic, and exalted bleeds into vulgar. Paintings of rare beauty are propped on elephant dung; deities squat to defecate; and lovers embrace and yet are forcibly bound.

This volume in Deste's 2000 Words series is authored by Katherine Brinson, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she curated the museum's 2013 Christopher Wool retrospective and also organizes the Hugo Boss Prize, a biennial award honoring significant achievement in contemporary art.