Gary Hume – American Tan

The new Gary Hume show opens today, 5th September, at White Cube’s Mason’s Yard gallery premises, right in the heart of Picadilly. It’s called “American Tan“, as are all the works are in the show.

I’m actually blogging this from the private view, as someone has rather generously not password-protected their wifi. I also wanted to take some photos of the inside of the gallery – more to capture the general ambience of the place, than to take photos of the work – but a very nice young fella told me I wasn’t allowed. No famous people here yet either, apart from Jake Chapman.

I like Gary Hume. I like him because he is a painter (and so am I). I like him, because, unlike so much work out there, his work is really playful. He clearly enjoys colour, and messing about with paint. I like his work because it has a sense of humour. Slightly cheeky, and sometimes a little dark, but there’s always something to raise a smile. I like his work because unlike many other works at the moment, its not made by ticking the right boxes, its not made by having a smart idea, and then phoning up fabricators from the Yellow Pages and “getting it made.” In fact, I like him so much, you might notice a small trace of influence in my own work.

I don’t know what he’s been up to since I last saw a Gary Hume show, as I’ve been away from the art scene for a while. Apparently, he’s been doing other things – things that you wouldn’t expect from his work. However, this one contains the sort of stuff that he’s known for, and then some.

The works are all great – I couldn’t single out one for praise. They’re basically sheets of aluminium painted with household paint, layered on really thick, but done to look like paintings of figures (ballerinas in this case). Very colourful. The surfaces are almost mirrors, they’re so glossy. There were also some works on canvas, which is a small departure – but these were lovely too… wonderfully rendered, soft and delicate somehow.

And then there were some simple sculptures – like ballerinas legs with cheerleaders pom-poms attached to one foot.

Go and have a look. It’s FUN.

And sometimes, its OK for art to be fun. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Bloody hell! I’ve just looked up, and in the time I’ve been typing this, its got REALLY busy. If I see anyone famous, I’ll let you know..

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2 Responses to Gary Hume – American Tan

  1. artbizness says:


    Just seen Elton John (and his partner David Furnish).

  2. artbizness says:

    Oh, and Will Self. And Marc Quinn, and (fairly inevitably) Jay Jopling.

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