From the classical to the commercial, internationally-recognised realist painter Hamish Blakley explores contemporary culture in his latest collection, iMasterpiece. This insightful and thought-provoking body of work uses the majesty of Old Masters to satirise today’s currency of likes, shares and followers.
Hamish's unique vision and skilful rendering of these romantic pieces brings the iconic artworks back to life in a language the 21st century can understand. Scroll down to view the collection, access the exhibition catalogue and hear from the artist himself about the intention behind each piece.
Vermeer’s iconic 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' has a penchant for Chanel as she shares the limelight with Betty Boop. This oil on canvas piece focuses the attention on the female thanks to the dark background Hamish has so successfully recreated, whilst the Chanel earrings bringing her into modern times.
This assimilation and recycling of iconic art in popular culture is depicted in 'Cover Girl', with Hamish revealing: “The classical splendour of Vermeer’s girl is, I feel, accentuated rather than diminished by our 1930s cartoon siren.”
Using Jean-Léon Gérôme’s provocative 'A Roman Slave Market' (c.1884) as his muse, Hamish has taken the sensuous figure of the female and placed her in London’s West End. From the Roman slave market to the streets of Soho, Hamish brings Neo-Classicism into the 21st Century. The nostalgic artform of Burlesque resonates through this masterpiece and across the world today, with girls so eagerly objectifying themselves to attract followers on Instagram.
As the seasons change, William Bouguereau's 'Evening Mood' has switched to a 'Summer Breeze', providing a springboard for Hamish to create his scantily-clad figure. Having fun on a summer evening, the god of the sea relaxes whilst sporting Diesel underwear with an air of nonchalance. Hamish sought to create his own version of Bouguereau’s great talent in this oil painting.
Inspired by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ iconic 'The Valpinçon Bather' (1808), the exquisite simplicity of this Neoclassical piece lends itself well to Hamish’s recreation.
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