Wilson works across a range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking, exploring issues of faith and belief and the associated structures of power.
The artist's interests are wide-ranging, encompassing science, religion and culture, systems of classification, history and memory. Here, he talks us through how he created one of his latest paintings, 'Rebel Rebel'.
Q. How would you define your work in three words?
Attempted ideological gyms.
Q. What medium do you mainly work with and why?
All and any whichever is best for the idea, I am interested in cemented ideals which have come from different groups or religions, so often these have kinds of mediums attached to them already, i.e. catholic paintings etc.
‘Object 2’ 2019 © Hugo Wilson
67 × 67 × 90 cm
Q. Where do you find most inspiration for your work?
Really anything, what I am really interested in is the need to believe and create structures around that belief.
Q. Take us through your working process.
‘Rebel Rebel’ (main image) was a large work made really as an end to a series all based on one painting (The Fall of the Rebel Angels by Rubens).
I will take the original work, flip it, repeat it, twist it, double it and keep going until the original is unrecognisable and something new emerges which seems to retain some of the essence of what drew me to the work in the first place.
I am interested in tools used by works used to inspire faith, whether its form placed in a certain way or colour schemes etc.
‘Rebel Rebel’ 2020 © Hugo Wilson
Oil on panel
220 cm x 240 cm
Q. Can you remember the first work of art that you created? What was it and why was it so memorable?
Yes it was an ashtray with a whale in the middle of it in glazed ceramic , memorable for two reasons, one it was actually not bad I still have it and two what on earth was a school doing asking six year olds to make ashtrays?
‘Ardour 3’ 2019 © Hugo Wilson
Charcoal on paper
190 × 160 cm
Hugo Wilson will be exhibiting internationally throughout 2020, including at The National Museum Stockholm, Galerie Judin and the National Gallery of Finland.
His work will next be on show with Nicodim Gallery at The Armory Show in New York from 5 – 8 Mar 2020.