Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hugh Mendes

Mendes has been painting images of newspaper clippings for about four years now. They originated in the context of still life, accompanying objects that related to the stories and headlines. They came to prominence following 9/11, the day of his MA graduation, when he showed a painting of Bin Laden pointing a gun at a triumphant George Bush. The use of newspaper clippings provides a very flat spatial field, recalls certain trompe l’oile 17th century still life and deals directly with contemporary issues such as cloning and terrorism. These are contemporary manifestations of the timeless themes of birth and death. Recently he has been working on an ongoing, and never ending, series of obituaries. The act of meticulous painting and therefore sustained concentration brings a degree of focus and depth to what otherwise would be fleeting moments in the press


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