Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Artist Stephen Hobbs

Above In recent days we've been fortunate to find online examples of the artwork of Stephen Hobbs, a South African artist from Johannesburg. Since the 1990s, he's been using photography, video and installation media to explore and to comment on various aspects of urban life, including projects that pertain directly to camouflage. The top row of the images here shows two installation photographs from an architectural installation titled Dazzle (2009), in which he dazzle-painted a small building (inside and out), employing spatial distortion techniques that were refined by artists for ship camouflage in World War I, particularly Norman Wilkinson and Everett L. Warner. There is an online link where more photographs of this can be accessed, as well as his preparatory drawings, all of which are fascinating. The remaining images in the above cluster are a sampling of his equally interesting photographs of architectural aspects of the city in which camouflage is found, not constructed. In learning more about his work, I found it especially helpful to read three published articles/interviews, available here as pdfs. One other comment: One of Hobbs' inspirations has been the work of Russian Constructivist Vladimir Tatlin. By entire coincidence, on the same day that I found Hobbs' work online, I also found online sources that claim that Tatlin designed camouflage during World War II.