BA Fine Art – Central Saint Martins, 2019
Primarily a sculptor, Hugo’s practice investigates the simulated narratives and hyper-reality that is penetrating our current communication channels; especially in this age of digital imagery and sophisticated technologies. He explores this through examining the mechanisms of representation that operate within popular culture, and the inauthenticity of them. Ultimately asking the viewer to assess the artificiality of the artificial.
This work is a selection from a series of illustrations taken from Hugo’s drawing practice that focuses on the idea of the ‘celebrity’. In depicting the celebrity in his work, Hugo hopes to reveal the performative nature of these figures where polished exteriors are just fronts for the emptiness that lies inside. As a result, this series highlights the transparency of these façades by exaggerating them.
To achieve this, Hugo uses digital illustrative techniques to render fragmented representations of the celebrity. The illusions of authenticity that shroud the subject are dispelled through the crude stylisation and knowingly kitsch aesthetic of the drawings. Hugo refocuses the attention of the viewer from values of aspiration or adoration to those of contempt or pity.
“It’s not my intention to produce more standardised and true representational imagery of celebrities or notable figures. Instead, [I] apply my own style to their representation which creates a tone of mockery, humour, and, possibly, pity in place of adoration or aspiration. But, ultimately, I want the audience to have fun with my work.”