Lewis Hammond’s oil paintings present fragmentary pictures of a world that is both familiar and unknown. His works examines the idea of self, the impossibility of self-knowledge, the sorrow of violence and human vulnerability in the face of death. They can often be seen as self-portraits speaking of the artist’s personal relationships and his black heritage.
The figures in his paintings can be seen wondering in solitary and alienated spaces, and they frequently present animal forms that reminds the viewer of Kafkaesque situations.
Any sense of place and history is forcibly suspended, and the idea of personal struggle is underlined by a bold palette but also by the thinly applied layer of paint, which expose the artist’s movement on the canvas.
Lewis Hammond (b. 1987) graduated from the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 2017. Recent exhibitions include: Arcadia Missa, London (2019); Balice Hertling, Paris (2018); Sophie Tappeiner Gallery, Vienna (2018); Condo, New York (2018). He has forthcoming shows at Antenna Space, Shanghai and Deborah Schamoni, Munich. He has won the Travel Prize and the Prize for Painting at the Royal Academy Schools, London.
Platform Foundation Asks
Who is your artistic hero? My “heroes” range from from Goya to Jusepe de Ribera. From Claudia Rankine to Arthur Jafa. And then lots and lots in the middle.
Which work of art you wished you owned? I think perhaps the Bronzino “An Allegory with Venus and Cupid”... or Titian’s “Flaying of Marsyas”... OR “The Mocking of Christ” by Fra Angelico.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio? My painting table.
Describe your studio in three words: My favourite place.
Do you collect anything? Not so much anymore. I used to have a large record collection, which has thinned out over the years. I’m interested in starting collecting again though - I really enjoyed the crate digging. Other than that I buy a lot of books.
What kind of music do you listen to while you work? I mostly listen to audiobooks. Music dependent on mood and studio activity I am doing. Fast and heavy punk music for laborious tasks. Softer and more contemplative music for painting.