THEIR EGOS WILL LEAD
THEM TO THIS FUTURE
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Their Egos Will Lead Them To This Future presents a body of painting by Jack Hughes, stemming from the central work entitled Rejection Of The Gods, depicting Bellerophon falling from Pegasus, as he attempted to fly to Mount Olympus to join the Gods; where he felt he belonged. The story of Bellerophon is one of many Greek legends centered around man's ego and sense of entitlement. Hughes’ painting is a showcase of these ancient Greek figures, their attempts to take fate into their own hands and the punishments aligning their arrogance.
Man's lust for power will forever be a topic of legend and the contemporary, the Greeks setting a timeless and compelling standard for telling tales of such characters. Even Hughes’ choice of analogous monsters brings very current light to an imbalance born from ego, ambition, and cultural imbalance. Using bold colours and gestural brush marks, Hughes interprets these myths as vivid, dreamy paintings representing the triumphant highs and the fatal lows of these protagonists.
Through these themes Hughes humbly furthers the understanding of his own practice, attempting to create work that resembles the feeling of experiencing a dream in his signature style. Some figures become a part of the underpainting, taking a more background role in the composition, the surrounding landscapes dominating the foreground via refined mark making and stronger application of paint.
Theoretically, this is also representative of how man and his actions are shrouded in mystery and hearsay in these legends, the figures of these tales being enigmas of myth and oral storytelling; whilst the landscapes they are set in are permanent. Attainable locations that are still lived in today, still setting new lore.
Hughes’ barer landscape works, all inspired by ancient descriptions of the Aegean coast, also comment on the indomitable beauty of natural world, stoic in the face of man’s foibles. Hughes is subtly showcasing the temporality of the mortal ego through storytelling - even considering the passage of time from early Grecian Mythology to the present day - wherein the host, the Earth, will tell tales for generations far beyond the scope of any iconic hero, acting as the eternal constant beyond good and evil, morality and ego.