A new commission by artist Tom Hunter will be unveiled at Museum of London
on 13 May 2009. The series of unique portraits are in celebration of the spectacular new Galleries of Modern London, launching in spring 2010.
Taking some of the people involved with the new galleries, Hunter created stage sets using objects from the Museums collection. Like a time lord travelling from one period to the next, Hunter has stolen moments from several eras juxtaposing modern London icons like the Vespa scooter with a Museum designer dressed in a 1770s panier dress. The beautifully staged portraits are rich with colour yet intensely dark, reminiscent of the old masters style.
Artist Tom Hunter says, In these portraits I wanted to convey the freedom to travel in time, as you would do when you walk through the Museum itself. But unlike the Museum, which sets out to make sense of history, I set out to confuse by creating surprising portraits that steal from different times and fashions.
The Museum was the first to collect Tom Hunters work in 1995 when it acquired The Ghetto, an extraordinary recreation of squatted Hackney terraces, made while he was a student at London College of Printing. He then went on to win the prestigious John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1998, after graduating from the RCA. Hunter is perhaps best known for his show Living in Hell at The National Gallery in 2005. The collection of striking photographs derived from Classical paintings and newspaper headlines cemented his reputation as an international artist.
Professor Jack Lohman, Director of Museum of London says, Having been the first to collect Toms work, we are thrilled to be commissioning these portraits. These are hugely exciting times for the Museum as we work to create a revitalised, world-class museum.
The Galleries of Modern London will tell the story of the capital from 1666 to the present day, reflecting how the vibrant and unflagging energy of Londoners has shaped the modern city. The new galleries will convey a strong sense of Londons contemporary identity as a vibrant, dynamic and world city with diversity at its heart.
Flashback: A new commission by Tom Hunter opens 13 May 2009 runs until March 2010, and is free.