Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Grinning skulls

We're in the homestretch! It's only 10 days to Halloween, my favorite holiday.

In honor, I'm going to try to treat you to a post a day that is at least tangentially related to the big day.

First up, the art of James Hopkins.

Prosperity and Decay and Consumption and Consequence, respectively.

"Hopkins’ work draws from the techniques of optical illusionism through which he involves viewers by teasing with their visual consciousness. His sculptures allude to Symbolist literature in their spin on decadence and the self-indulgence of dandy-ism: they recall the impermanence of objects and their persistence in memory, in a similar way Pop Art made use of iconic images derived from vain consumerism. His sculptures utilise everyday objects that are turned into impossible variations, even into sly commentaries of themselves." (Taken from

"...Hopkins rendered oversize Death's heads. These works are poetically succinct meditations on longed-for pasts and inevitable futures, the impermanence of objects and their persistence in memory. Prosperity and Decay (2006) operates similarly, but aligns itself more closely with Holbein's precedent, substituting middle-age, middle-class extravagances—a wine rack, bottles, and glasses; antique maps, clocks, mirrors, and a chess board; leather-bound literature and a violin—for the adolescent possessions used earlier. It is likewise a more subtle composition; whereas the earlier sculptures relied on tonal differences to outline the memento mori, this piece forces the viewer to navigate a complicated interplay of positive and negative space. Perhaps unwittingly, Hopkins has, by thinning out the arrangement, formally echoed his thematic concern; in the end, there will be nothing left to position on these shelves. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

(via On Decorum)

No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin