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Hugo Wilson Main Profile Image

Hugo Wilson

London, UK

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Painting, Sculpture • Born in London, UK • Studied at City and Guilds London Art School
 3

"... question the systems of ideology"

The King's Head, established 1789 - beer is no longer served in this pub, because it is Hugo Wilson´s studio! Centuries seem to be condensed in these facilities. Not only the space but also the artwork seems to be enchanted by a peculiar history/contemporary mixture.

On top of the bar, a number of exuberant but handy sculptures of Hercules were arranged. Not for display, but because Hugo was actually still working on them....

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The King's Head, established 1789 - beer is no longer served in this pub, because it is Hugo Wilson´s studio! Centuries seem to be condensed in these facilities. Not only the space but also the artwork seems to be enchanted by a peculiar history/contemporary mixture.

On top of the bar, a number of exuberant but handy sculptures of Hercules were arranged. Not for display, but because Hugo was actually still working on them. Fountains by Bernini were flashing through my mind, and the timeline suddenly had no certain fixture any longer.

“Each sculpture is based on around thirty sculptures of each labour of Hercules. But the actual subject is irrelevant. Hercules is just the excuse to examine a story that has spawned a huge number of works of art throughout time. Instead, I am interested in the systems of ideology and the human need to establish them”, Hugo clarifies. “Mostly false idols are created, and I can make them quickly with terracotta.”

Hugo is, as he calls it, “bouncing around” working with different media. His sculptures are on par with his paintings. These are oil paintings on wood panel, because “canvas is so loaded”.
Hugo admits that he has a love/hate relationship with painting, but he is using it “as a vehicle” for his conceptual intentions.

His paintings are reminiscent of historic battle scenes. In some of his recent paintings Hugo combines depictions of different animals and achieves a subtle balance between focused and blurred portions of the image. At times he only shows parts of the animal or conceals them with another animal in front. “For my paintings I need lots of endurance. It´s boring mornings, painting the legs of a rhinoceros.”

Hugo Wilson is inspired by painters like Rubens and Tiepolo or by Renaissance artists. The drafts for his paintings are collages he now prepares with Photoshop. “I used to draw them with chalk, which turned into an artwork itself. But as my collages were never intended to be artworks, the photoshop medium suits me much better,” Hugo explains.

In Hugo Wilsons’ body of work photography also plays an important role, like the ones in his studio, which show commercial building sites with concecrated ground in them “By law, the church can be desecrated while the ground on which it stands, cannot. So investors are not allowed to build on it, which recently caused the Government of Doha to make a loss of 130 Mio Pounds” Hugo grins about this irony.

This prolific artist, who also gives lectures and is represented in collections of the Deutsche Bank, The New York Public Library and the Library of Congress in Washington (D.C), has so many facets that he cannot be classified by common standards. He has made his living with art since he was seventeen (!), in the beginning with portraits. He is floating amongst the times, and I reckon he talks with the ghosts who must be present in these fantastical surroundings.

What is it about your studio space that inspires you?

It is an old pub (est 1785) in Brixton with the original frontage and victorian bar around the center (good for sculptures). It is a very old place with a lot of atmosphere to it, it is like London and I suppose my work, constantly being re worked and changed.

What sounds, scents and sights do you encounter while in your studio?

Either music I know well, or radio 4 ( the BBC station, which is the source of everything I know ).

What is your favourite material to work with? How has your use of it evolved throughout your practice?

I love the directness of terracotta.

What themes do you pursue?

Always seems to come back to man made systems of ideology and the search for order.

What advice has had the biggest impact on your career?

No right or wrong .. no trodden path.

If you could install your art absolutely anywhere, where would that be?

The studio I have always wanted is the foundation bellini in florence on the river .. I am sure its impossible.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Still life with partridge and gauntlets by Jacopo De'Barbari in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich

If you weren´t an artist, what would you be doing?

Luckily haven't had to make that call.

What are your favourite places besides your studio?

Florence.


GALLERIES

PARAFIN, London | www.parafin.co.uk/artists--hugo-wilson.html


For more information and inquiries about this artist, please contact Artitious by emailing to artist@artitious.com

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