Benjamin Hope - RA Summer Show
29 May 2013
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is the largest and oldest open art competition in the world, displaying over 1000 works in all media. We are delighted that this detailed oil painting by our client Benjamin Hope has been selected for inclusion in this prestigious show, now in its 245th year! Entitled ‘Teacups in the Financial Times’, the piece took over two months to paint and is an example of the artist’s still-life realist style. As Benjamin never works from photographs and is uninterested in recreating photographic effects, he had to ensure that the objects remained undisturbed in his studio throughout this period – a challenge in itself! One of the main obstacles the painter faced was capturing the text of the newspaper, ensuring it remained realistic:
“In the past, I've done a number of still life paintings involving text on paper and one of my aims here was to take the realism a step further. The trick is to find the right balance between making the text legible – which can lead you down the novice's path of “painting what you know” – and painting what the text actually looks like regardless of what the words are.”
This is a painting of contrasts, highlighting the artist’s skill in crafting diverse textures (in this case matt paper against gloss china), and balancing a colour palette (blue against orange). One of the more subtle elements at play in this piece is the recreation of a small halo of light around the edge of the objects, bleeding into the surroundings. This is an artist exploring ‘contrasting textures, intricate lighting and shadow effects, and the use of geometry in compositions’ alongside an interest in psychology and philosophy of the mind. Benjamin also works plein-air from time to time and creates portraits.
Our design team were delighted to create a bespoke frame design to protect and present this beautiful oil painting to a museum quality. Look out for his striking work at the RA Summer Show 10th June – 18th August, 2013.