Now

Humm says that he ‘has strong memories from this [the original Pop] movement, and it is a great source of inspiration.’ One should note the implied qualifications. His Pop-inspired works are not Pop Art as it used to be in its 1960s hey-day. Essentially the Pop references are always presented within quotation marks. The aim is not to identify with the lowest common denominators of popular culture, but to be ahead of the game. Mission accomplished. He takes over typical Pop devices – Lichtenstein’s Ben-Day dots, Warhol’s flat areas or colour – and gives them a new and fresher spin.

Until the tumultuous epoch of the French Revolution, artists remained very much the servants of those in power. If they included any political content in their work, it was the viewpoint of their patrons. The Romantic era, with its insistence that the artist was now the central figure in a drama of his own creation, brought about a fundamental change. It is evident from these compositions that this artist too is keenly aware of this. He is also aware, as references to modern media demonstrate, that the artist runs some risk of being pushed aside by more immediate kinds of political commentary. He knows that the members of his intended audience will have memory banks filled with the images that the media throw at them every day. Humm’s chosen role is therefore not that of the partisan. His aim is to make us aware of all the ironic elements to create a truly contemporary political art. He often makes his point by stealth, rather than by brute force. This, he surely feels, is the most effective way of ‘capturing the essence of political and historical events for our future generations.’

…text by Edward Lucie Smith October 2016