Patrick Hughes


on November 13 | in News | by | with No Comments


Patrick Hughes

I enter the exhibition perpendicular to one of Hughes’ reverspectives. The sculpted painting shimmers. I am exhilarated. I hope that I have reached the edge of ordinary perception. I lean into the extraordinary. Nothing happens. I do not fall. My dreams are dashed against the rocks like ships. I take a sideways step. Then another. I solve the puzzle. Prisms protrude from the picture. They penetrate the space I occupy.

  1. Hughes creates optical illusions.
  2. He describes his work as being “made in perspective the wrong way round” so the sections that are nearest the viewer seem the furthest away.
  3. Optical illusions are a traditional attraction at funfairs.
  4. Murray McDonald identifies the invention of reverspective – an achievement, which he compares to Brunelleschi’s rediscovery of linear perspective in 1420 – as “the first breakthrough in perspective for over five hundred years”.
  5. The first pop-up books were created in the 18th century.
  6. Hughes’ technique is impersonal.
  7. A gimmick is a trick or device intended to attract attention, publicity or trade.
  8. Reverspectives induce vertigo when viewed from a right angle.
  9. Like Canaletto (the purveyor of painted postcards), Hughes is enchanted by Venice.
  10. Many of his compositions contain piles of books emblazoned with names like Wilde and Ionesco.
  11. Joseph Epstein defines name-dropping as “using the magic that adheres to the names of celebrated people to [impress and] establish one’s [own] superiority” over others.
  12. Rachel Whiteread’s ghosts become more interesting as they multiply. Hughes’ reverspectives do not.
  13. Imagine Hans Holbein the Younger devoting his life to painting in anamorphic perspective (after having perfected the technique in The Ambassadors).
  14. Hughes is a one trick pony.
  15. A crossword, once completed, is useless and can be discarded.
  16. Hughes’ reverspectives are like crosswords.
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