Gabriël Hugo is a South African artist and interior architect based in Johannesburg.
Hugo’s current body of artwork focuses on three main themes: The Memory Series; Blurred Lines; and Imposed Landscapes. Each series focuses on complimentary narratives.
The Memory Series explores Identity through the duality of memory and experience.
Personal Identity is shaped by past experience. Our current thoughts and actions are all influenced by layers of memory and assigned meaning, determining our response to our immediate present. With time, our memories become blurred, edited, adapted and forgotten. Details of unrelated experiences often bleed together to create a false or reconstructed memory of the event. Locke’s theory on Personal Identity explains that if one has a memory of an experience, then it is proof that it happened. The inverse stating that if one can’t remember an event, it never happened. The artwork in this series explores the principle of redacted memories, often constructed to serve our current reality.
Similarly, the work employs mixed media to explore these layers, by use of ink, charcoal, oil and pastel. Each work has the same starting point, with the same progression of layers and techniques. A repetition of events, each relying on chance to evolve into something different. The techniques used in the works, combine a sequence of rapid mark-making and repetitive patterning, followed by a calculated censoring or obscuring of the underlying detail layers; finally overlaid with new patterns and meaning. Pockets of thoughts, memories and symbols, grouped together to create new visual meaning through shape and chance proximity.
The Blurred Lines series is a small collection of works as a continuation of the memory theme, where colour and form are reduced to a minimalist composition of colour field and mark-making.
Gabriël Hugo (c.1982) lives and works in Johannesburg. He holds a BSc in Interior Architecture and Bachelors of Fine Arts from University of Pretoria.