“The painting is not moving because it isn’t really a painting at all.”— Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes — master of puns, paradoxes, and perspective — brings to the metaverse his unique technique of forced perspective using physical sculptural paintings. He calls this technique reverspective.
In his reverspective paintings — a technique Hughes developed himself — Hughes builds painting surfaces that protrude from the wall, typically in a series of pyramid shapes set side by side. His unique effect is achieved by a forced perspective scene in which the point that’s farthest in the picture is actually the point that is physically nearest the viewer: the top of the pyramid.
“What seems to be near is the farthest point and what seems to be far is actually the nearest point, which causes it all to move. By making things in perspective, you can get them to come alive.”— Patrick Hughes
When viewed straight-on, a reverspective painting will appear to be a flat surface, but as the viewer moves about the painting — even just a tilt of the head or a subtle shift to one side — its tricky perspective becomes a confounding three-dimensional scene, quite unexpected and disorienting for our pattern-seeking minds.
“It’s essential, in my work, that you should not only look at them, but you should move with them because they will move with you in a kind of a dance.” — Patrick Hughes
Patrick Hughes’ first exhibition was in 1961 and his first reverspective, Sticking-out Room, was made in 1964. Hughes’ original painted reliefs are concerned with optical and visual illusions, the science of perception, and the nature of artistic representation. He has written and collated three books on the visual and verbal rhetoric of the paradox and oxymoron. He has made a hundred editions of screenprints and is making his way towards a hundred editions of multiples.
In the 1970s Hughes’ name became synonymous with rainbow paintings, which also became very popular as prints and as postcards; people enjoyed them as decoration, but for Hughes, the rainbow represented a solid experience.
In the late 1980s, Hughes revisited exploiting the difference between perspective and reverspective and solidifying space. For the last 25 years, his 3-D reverspective paintings have been hughesually in demand, exhibited around the world, and featured in many public collections.
The experience of seeing a Patrick Hughes sculptured painting, in reality, is really to experience unreality and the paradox of illusory space and movement.
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BANKSY OF ENGLAND
“Banksy of England” is a tribute to the clever English graffiti artist known as Banksy. The Bank of England is the financial basis of the British economy; Banksy of England is the artistic equivalent, a set of images that show Banksy’s wealth of images at their best. The rioter throwing a floral bouquet, the Winged Victory of Thermophrace as a surveillance video camera, indeed all Banksy’s pictures, are there to make us think, and think again, about our society and its norms.
“Pygmalion” shows us a beautiful set of sunshine yellow doors leading us out to a stunning seascape under a blue sky. In Patrick Hughes’ art, doors are very useful because the movement caused by the reverspective construction replicates the movement that is intrinsic to doors, which are designed to open and close, to reveal or conceal. These doors show us alternatively the closed doors or the splendid view beyond, depending on our movement and point of view.
“Exhibitionism” is a reverspective by Patrick Hughes of some of the art that Patrick admires. On the left of the gallery is a tumultuous work by his old friend Keith Haring. Next to it is a Bill Woodrow sculpture of a guitar cut out of the metal of an old washing machine. There are sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi, Claes Oldenburg, and Andy Warhol, and paintings by Wayne Thiebaud, Roy Lichtenstein, Philip Guston, and Victor Vasarely.