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James Hopkins: Vanitas

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Approaching a work by James Hopkins could induce the kind of contemporary art-related panic we all fear — that moment when an art work seems so alien or impenetrable that we are left dumbfounded and defeated by some hidden meaning we can’t quite perceive.

 

Yet, all is revealed if you look closely enough at the series of shelving pieces that Hopkins has been making for about a year, including two works commissioned by Wallpaper* (opposite and previous page). ‘Nothing is quite what it seems in my work because I often use perspective and illusions, so depending on which viewpoint you adopt, you see different things,’ he says. For example, amid the mirrors, chopping boards and wastepaper baskets, a ghostly skull slowly appears across the shelves. Hopkins realises that design, like everything else, soon meets its maker. ‘I see these shelves as tombstones to the current, ephemeral era in design because, while they look quite luxurious and modern now, next year they will already begin to look dated’. --- KEEP READING 

JAMES HOPKINS 

VANITAS