A long time ago, I was asked by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, to contribute an artwork for the Bigger Splash Benefit Auction, to raise funds for their public programme. Each invited artist was supplied with watercolour paints, paper and brushes.
I wondered what kind of watercolours would collectors of contemporary art like? Of course, they like what other collectors like them like. I thought, what paintings are popular? Gary Hume paintings are very, very popular. I decided to make two Gary Hume-like watercolours, copies of images reproduced in the catalogue of the Whitechapel exhibition in 1999; from his Water Painting series.
Like this one (left) since 2000 in the Tate Collection
Following his usual practice, Hume linear-traced silhouettes of women from found photographic imagery onto aluminium, offsets and superimposes them, then paints flat, high-key, household gloss monochrome grounds. The outlines float, flicker and ripple, producing his familiar seductive, sexy, paintings. I extended the process by tracing photographic reproduction of the paintings from the Whitechapel catalogue, transferred them to paper, masked the wiry tracings, and then laid down flat-wash watercolour backgrounds. Water Painting mutations.