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Patrick Hugues 

Splash of colours

Country/city, 1982 

Silkscreen print

Image Size: H: 58.7cm x W: 89.5cm 

Paper Size: H: 77.7cm x W: 107cm

Reference number: PHU001

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Best known for his invention of an optical illusion called “reverspective”, Patrick Hughes is a prolific British artist born in 1939 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Hughes’ work is based on optical illusions, the science of perception, and the nature of artistic representation, inspired from an early age by paradoxes and visual trickery. Hughes has enjoyed recent unwitting recognition when in 2016, a viewer of his piece Superduperperspective filmed the effect of the optical illusion and posted it on the internet, sending it viral.


Patrick Hughes’ propensity for the surreal has been influenced by artists like Paul Klee, Rene Magritte, and Marcel Duchamp. He has also published three books on wordplay, including More on Oxymoron in 1984.

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Splash of Colour was a product of a period in the 70s and 80s where Hughes found himself fascinated with rainbows, and one of many pieces exploring paradoxical concepts around them.


“People did not understand my rainbows,” he said. “A rainbow is a fugitive temporary thing, a sign for a rare and passing event, so I made it permanent, trapped it, and made it cast a shadow—and so on. I continually contradicted it. I saw the irony in the pinning down of this butterfly.”

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