artist of the day #46: James Hopkins

A common goal for most artists is to try to get the viewer to see things from another perspective. Usually this is meant from a more metaphorical point of view, but with artist James Hopkins, he literally wants viewers to take a look from another angle. Using colors, shapes, and mostly perspective, Hopkins specializes in making three-dimensional optical illusions. Some of his works are based on popular cartoon characters, others are based on well known two-dimensional optical illusions, and yet some are completely original creations from his own mind.

Personally, I feel that much of his work falls into that category of impressive work but not necessarily mind blowing deeper meanings. I have come across a lot of different artists like this on various “WOW look at this” threads on the internet. Yes the optical illusion is very impressive, and I am not sure that I myself could create something like this, but I like an artwork that grows over time. That the longer you spend time with it, and the more times you look at it, you find new meanings it will create. With an artwork that is so based on a trick, I am not sure how much it can grow passed that initial “WOW.”

But not all of his work falls into this category; some of it can carry deeper meanings. For example, his piece in which he carves a gun out of the pages of a book. Perhaps this is some sort of a metaphor that knowledge is the ultimate power, or it is commenting in some way about the book it is carved from. I cannot tell exactly from the picture what the book is, but think about how the meaning would change if it was carved out of the bible versus if it was carved out of mystery novel or compilation of comic strips.

Overall, he does definitely hit two targets I look for in interesting art. It is fun to look at and it looks very difficult to make. I would simply like to see him take his ability to create such interesting sculptures to play with some deeper issues. Hopkins studied art at Goldsmiths College in London and now works out of Guernsey.  He has exhibited all over Europe, the U.S., and Russia.

See more of his work here: