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Patrick Hughes sells “Empty Head” in shares on Feral Horses


feralhorses - 4th June 2019 - 0 comments

A true maverick of Post-War British art is going Feral. We are honoured to announce that Patrick Hughes’ “Empty Head” is now selling in shares via the Feral Horses platform.

The artist:

Patrick Hughes (1939) lives and works in London. One of the major painters of contemporary British art, his works can be found in various public collections including Tate and the British Library, London; The British Academy; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; and the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. Hughes has exhibited in London as well as throughout Europe, Asia, the USA, and Canada.

Hughes gained international recognition by inventing the “reverspective” style of painting (pictured above), a neologism for reverse perspective. The technique involves constructing pyramid- or wedge-shaped blocks out of wood and painting realistic depictions of themes of the interior, the urban landscape or the museum gallery on top of the wood. The result is a visually-unfolding panorama where the protruding parts appear to recede, and the receding parts appear to protrude.

“I thought there was room for a paradoxer in art”. The confrontational and somewhat contradictory nature of Hughes’ work reflects a playful aspect of his personality, driven by the artist’s early interest in comedy. “Humour added to high art is wonderful. It’s the best thing that the art of the twentieth century has done. Humour is tragedy elevated to the level of art”. The artist manages to disorientate his audience. Our eyes tell us we are going one way, yet our bodies contradict this by suggesting an opposite direction. Our eyes tell us we are going one way, yet our bodies contradict by suggesting an opposite direction. Hughes masterfully sabotages the synchronicity of our perceptive faculties.

This riot of the senses should welcome a healthy dose of scepticism to the mind of the observer as the works’ effect provokes meditations on the nature of perceived reality. Patrick Hughes takes the subjective experience of perspective and turns it into a complete, coherent and objective reality — that of static painted wood.’

“When the principles of perspective are reversed and solidified into sculpted paintings something extraordinary happens; the mind is deceived into believing the impossible, that a still painting can move of its own accord.” — Patrick Hughes

The artist recalls the moment of inspiration as he began interpreting his own perceptions of railway tracks which he observed to converge to a point on the horizon outside Leeds central station in 1963. The artist had been brought up in Crewe, Cheshire, a railway town.

His solo show in 1961 was the first by a British Pop artist. He taught at Leeds College of Art in the 1960s. He taught at Leeds College of Art in the 1960s. Patrick has written books on philosophy and rhetoric exploring how revealing language is when pushed beyond metaphor into the further reaches of oxymoron and paradox. Based in Hoxton, Patrick says he is less interested in his CV than how long he has left.


The Artwork:

“Empty Head” is a self-portrait, created by Patrick Hughes in 2017. The artist used oil and acrylic on top of resin and wood. The artist’s reverspective technique is used to produce an illusory levitation of the head above the canvas. The optical illusion doesn’t stop there as wherever the viewer stands in the room, it seems that the portrait of Patrick looks the viewer in the eyes. Hughes rarely applies reverspective to elements of the human body, thus making this artwork a truly unique artefact of one of Britain’s great 20th-century artists.

“Empty Head” by Patrick Hughes

The Project:

On the platform, “Empty Head” will be available to buy in shares. While on sale, the artwork will be exhibited at Patrick Hughes’ studio in Hackney, London. Interested buyers will have the opportunity to walk by the studio, see “Empty Head” exhibited on the window and access directly Feral Horses’ platform through a QR code that will be positioned next to the artwork. 

There are 7,200 shares in total and every single share costs £10
The artwork was originally valued at £75,000 + VAT (£90,000) but our users will enjoy a very generous discount as we have negotiated to put it up for £60,000 + VAT (£72,000).

The sale thus gives the artwork a valuation of £72,000. The artwork will remain under the management of Feral Horses and, once fully sold, it will embark on a tour of key art institutions, where co-owners will have the opportunity to fall under the charm of the artwork first-hand.

The Exclusive Rewards:

Depending on the number of shares bought, co-owners will earn different rewards. 
Rewards go from a book by Patrick Hughes to 1-hour free art consultation with the Sales Director of Alon Zakaim Gallery and a private studio visit with the artist including a very special workshop! 

About the rewards:

All the exclusive rewards for this campaign were designed together with Patrick Hughes himself. If you have any questions, just reach out to us via our live chat.

How to rsvp to the party? 
The campaign’s closing party will be held in November 2019. Precise information will be shared later on with the co-owners who have confirmed their presence. To be added on the guest list, rsvp via our live-chat (the white speech bubble icon in the blue circle in the bottom right corner of your screen when you’re on the platform), someone from our team will take great care of you and confirm your spot. 
NB: It’s a first come first served basis, so no matter who you are or how good you are at bribery, our team will be very strict and only confirm the first 60 co-owners who rsvp. A waiting list will be in place if necessary. 

When will I receive my book and/or poster?
We understand that it’s hard to wait but all the physical rewards will be shipped at the end of the campaign. 

What will we do during the studio visit? 
Patrick Hughes will take you on a private tour of his studio and will tell you stirring stories while making puns as hughesual. To cap it off, Patrick Hughes will share some of his expertise and will make a cast of your face on-site! You’ll get to bring home something really special that was used as a first step to develop his reverspective portrait.

Visit Feral Horses, to co-own “Empty Head” by Patrick Hughes now

Take me to the campaign page now

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