He Maketh and Selleth


Richard Hoey
Gold leaf, flock, acrylic, oil, varnish on canvas
39.4 x 39.4 in.

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Since moving to Brazil in 2015, Hoey has been loosely basing his work on the many hand made pavings in Brazilian cities, known as ‘pedra portuguesa’ (Portuguese stone). There are many interesting facts related to them in their long history which dates back to the Portuguese colonisation in the 1500’s. The pavings are in decline as they are gradually being replaced by asphalt.

These works are a continuation of a series Hoey started in Brazil, the last of which was made in his London studio. He therefore introduced a material element that he felt bridged the ‘gap’ between the two continents in which he currently lives. During his research he found that flock wallpaper was at the height of fashion around the time of the European colonisation and industrialisation of Brazil. Once a luxury product used by the wealthy in the grandest apartments, it has declined into a cliché intended to evoke an atmosphere of Colonial grandeur. It is not clear when the first flock papers were produced, but trade cards and advertisements show that flock papers were available by the late 17th century.

Edward Butling’s card of around 1690 declares that he ‘Maketh and Selleth all sorts of Hangings for Rooms’, including ‘Flock-work’, at his premises in Southwark. Hoey’s own studio is based in Southwark.

Artist Details

Hoey employs tactile materials such as gesso, jute and metal leaf to produce multi layered works with highly detailed surfaces. For the artist, materiality acts as conductor between the inner and outer worlds of human experience. The materials employed serve as a code, each has it’s correspondence.  For example, the choice of gold leaf is related to ideas of purification and transformation.

Hoey’s practice, and his choice of materials is informed through direct experience with his environment. Current influence is derived from his time spent in Brazil where the artist feels immersed in a culture steeped in a history of colonisation, slavery and tribal folklore. For the artist, this history is imbedded into the land, the architecture, even the pavements, which have become a focal point in recent works.

Richard is a self-taught artist with a background in design.  In 2012, he completed an MA in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School. Hoey regularly participates in solo and group exhibits including Gruen Galleries, Chicago USA.  Zane Bennett Contemporary, Santa Fe USA.  The Unit, London UK . Sim Smith Gallery, London UK.  He Lives and works between Brazil and the UK.

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