These are some of the artist’s most recent and most radical images. We see themes that are genuinely ‘classical’, in the narrowest sense of the meaning. These are always in grisaille. They are overlaid by modern pop or contemporary images, totally at variance with this muted academicism, resurrected from the distant past of Greece and Rome.
As Humm says: ‘Classical art can often be all about craftsmanship and skill and can lack creativity. On the other hand, conceptual art can be looked at as being all concept.’ Thus this artist mocks the classical with the modern and mocks the modern’s icons or heroes. The result is Clash, respecting and disrespecting in equal measure the skills and follies of each.
The paintings epitomize the tensions between the present and the past that are so often present in Humm’s work. The spectator has to ask what, in the situation so epigrammatically presented, constitutes trash? And what is really art?
…text by Edward Lucie Smith October 2016