Pop Art Meets the Renaissance: Philipp Rudolf Humm at Riflemaker

In anticipation of Riflemaker‘s upcoming Being and Time, an exhibition of new works by  Philipp Rudolf Humm, we are thrilled to have been able to speak with the Belgian/German artist about his practise.

Humm’s paintings are infused with art history references, in particular of the Renaissance and Pop art. From these  inspirations and other sources, he creates playful mise-en-scènes that allow him to comment on the world around him.

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Indoctrinated, Oil on canvas; 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Riflemaker.

Humm works in oil, using bold colours and familar scenes. His paintings are both dramatic and fun. We anticipate this exhibition to be a truly exciting and unique event on your art calendar this year

ArtAttack: What is your first memory of creating art and when did you decide to pursue art as a career?

Phillip Rudolf Humm: Luckily enough for me my mother kept my childhood paintings. The painting I remember most is the one I did at the age of 7 after having watched the assasination of Kennedy on TV with my parents. I decided to study art at the age of 18, yet did not get admitted by the Berlin Akademie. I then embarked into business where I had a successful career. Art remained my hobby all the way along. I really got seriously into art after moving to London in 2012 and decided in 2014 to quit my CEO job to become a full time artist – a decision I followed through in summer 2015.

AA: Much of your work borrows from familiar art history mise-en-scenes. What is the reason for this and when did it begin?

PRH: I am a figurative narrative painter. As such I look for inspiration by observing people around me, in movies, art and photography. The link to Renaissance paintings comes from me studying paintings from great masters while I studied at the Florence Academy. I discovered that the themes old masters used are very relevant to today’s society. So I incorporated ideas or themes in my own modernistic composition.

AA: Do you create your work with a message in mind or do you find that comes later?

PRH: I typically start with a message in mind, from which I create sketches to then do a drawing and finally a painting on canvass. I find each step to lead to a new unexpected outcome – tweaking the originally intended message.

AA: Do you prefer to work in the day or at night typically?

PRH: I work in waves meaning first conceptual idea generation leading to sketches, then drawing and finally painting. When I draw and paint I work 6-7 days a week, 10-14 hours a day over a period of 4-8 weeks – with very few breaks in between.It is like being in a frenzy.

AA: Where do you find your inspiration?

PRH: I find my inspiration from observing other people, from movies or from museum visits.

– India Irving

Philipp Rudolf Humm: Being and Time will be on view at Riflemaker from 24-28 November, 2016; 79 Beak St, London, W1F 9SU; Open Monday – Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 11AM-6PM; Admission: FREE

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