“This work belongs to a body of drawings based on public statues that I draw and photograph on travels to cities across Europe and North America over the last seventeen years. During lockdown I completed 125 works which had been in gestation for many years. I am attracted to these classical statues as beautiful readymade models to work from and love what the rhetoric of their pose might suggest without knowing who the subject is or what they commemorate. I’m interested in how very public statues are quietly ignored or forgotten and l give them new life by comical and satirical interventions with colour and text based on what their pose suggests. I never try to deride the subject. It’s the statue in the abstract that is the source of inspiration.”
James Hanley RHA is a Dublin-based painter. An established portrait artist, painting many official and state portraits, he is represented in significant public, corporate and private collections in Ireland and abroad.
Born in 1965, he graduated from University College Dublin in 1987 with a degree in History of Art and English, and from the National College of Art & Design in 1991 with a BA in Fine Art Painting.
He works in a representational style, in both painting and drawing. He has exhibited extensively in group exhibitions in Ireland and abroad, and has had many solo exhibitions.
Hanley is a full Member of the Royal Hibernian Academy, was elected to Aosdána in 2008 and recently elected to the Board of Governors of the National Gallery of Ireland.
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Image: James Hanley RHA, Guardsman’s Revenge, Graphite on paper, image courtesy of the artist