Gary Hume

Gary Hume, an English contemporary artist born in 1962, paints using high gloss bold coloured paints. Inspired by the pop-art movement, Hume paints everyday objects in a stylised manner using a colour palette not usually associated with the pop art style.

Bird Point lll 1998 Gloss paint on aluminium four panels 221 x 492 cm

Above is an example of one of Hume’s works, Bird Point III, 1998. As you can see the slick flat paint on the aluminium surface is reminiscent of the bold flat images of the pop art era, yet the colour tones are a combination of dark and neutral pastel. The unusual aluminium surface radiates through and makes the colours pop. My initial reaction to this piece reminds me of the hungry caterpillar and lots of caterpillars roaming around. Although taking direction from the title of bird point, this leads me to see this painting instead of the micro sense of tiny caterpillars but of the macro and of a birds eye view. I can see lots of different shaped lands, green and brown fields separated into pockets of ownership.

Here is my response to the above work of Gary Hume. I used gold and silver card as the surface, cut into long thin rectangles, and then using an array of paint brushes, stamps and round sponges I added layers of paint. Experimenting with different colours, some inspired by Gary Hume.

I firstly tried scanning the images however when I used the scanner the metallic backgrounds lost their sheen and became quite dull, I settled on taking photographs on a sunny day, however you can just see in the bottom third of each rectangle a reflection of myself with my camera phone.

Gary Hume Four Doors l, 1989/90 Oil on canvas (four panels) 239 x 594 cm Private Collection, Courtesy White Cube, London

Another example of Hume’s work above is, Four Doors, 1989/90. For me this artwork is far less open to interpretation, as soon as I saw the image I could see doors. After some further research into the image it becomes even clearer that these are in fact hospital doors. Even the colours used are reminiscent of the medical world. In particular the white and red door, as well as the further pastel colours and grey. For this artwork, Hume has used traditional canvas and oil, displayed together as a collection of doors. My eyes are initially drawn to the ‘windows’ through the doors, imagining what I could see through them or what’s on the other side of those doors.

Here is another response to Gary Hume’s above work. I decided in this instance to instead use coloured card to create these colour block shapes. I then scanned each door and placed them together in a collage digitally. I like how you can just see a slight shadow jumping off the surface around the pieces of card layered on top of the base layer, giving a feeling of depth.

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