Andrew Holmes


Using motor vehicles as a point of reference, the hyperreal pencil drawings of English artist Andrew Holmes explore the impact of an oil hungry civilisation. Through his exquisitely rendered pencil on paper compositions, Holmes displays the luminance and mystique of the automobile that has captured the imagination of so many since its creation.

Holmes' portrayal of luxury motorcycles creates a conceptual dialogue of modernity's influence on design, social trends and technology, while his depictions of decaying vehicles in a salvage yard explore human attitudes towards expiration.

From an artistic perspective, Holmes creates extraordinary resemblances that reflect the surface of the subject as well as the realm around it. Similar to a mirror reflection, the viewer synchronously shifts between the vehicle and the world around them, between reality and fantasy, as they project themselves into these imaginary scenes. This conceptual leap transforms the routine into the remarkable and the automobile into looking glass.

Holmes's most favoured subject matter has always been Los Angeles, or rather, the lines of transportation that artificially sustain the city across the harsh surrounding desert. The concatenations of mobile structures on the American highway (trucks, trailers, tanks), with their permanent industrial armature (which channels, fills, fuels, unloads, washes) are for him the great architecture of America.

The process of drawing (as seen so effectively in Holmes's work) is the process of investing a photographic trace of the fragment, with the sense of its sublime, ungraspable whole. That investment is effected through all the small decision over emphasis, contract and simplification taken through time. The self-denying discipline involved yields a palpable tension in the words, particularly in the achingly sustained areas of unbroken colour.

- Thomas Crow, extract from Modern Art in the Common Culture

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