British artist James Hopkins, born in the UK in 1976, creates sculptures of everyday objects that deliberately confuse and play with the viewer. Hopkins' distortion of the object's correct proportions instantly affects the viewer's perception and awareness of space. Mundane objects such as chairs, doors or guitars are transformed into intriguing optical illusions, and despite the interaction and attempts of the viewer to see the objects in the correct ratio, the work continues to trick and tease. Hopkins' exploration of anamorphosis perspective has clear allusions to the work of Hans Holbein and the iconic portrait of 'The Ambassadors' from 1533 where a distorted skull is featured at the bottom of the painting. Although Hopkins enjoys creating a puzzle for the viewer, the use of this technique and the inclusion of guns, skulls and coffins in his visual vocabulary are clear references to Vanitas or memento mori - a reminder of our own mortality.
Hopkins comments "I think of vanity when I see my image in the mirror, of knowledge when I read a book, and of indulgence when I drink wine or play music; but all of these things are lost in acknowledgment of seeing the skull reveal itself."
James Hopkins graduated with an MA in Fine Art in 2002 at Goldsmiths College, London. Hopkins has shown extensively with solo shows in London, Rome, Paris and New York and has participated in several group shows including the Changwon Sculpture Biennale in Korea, The New Art Centre in Salisbury UK and Hamburger Kunsthalle in Germany.