Known primarily for his large-format narrative paintings and sculpture work exploring the contradictions and idiosyncrasies of contemporary life, Philipp Rudolf Humm is an artist with a long history of skillfully manipulating the iconography of popular culture. A philosopher by training, Humm began image making at a young age until, like Gauguin before him, a career in business took him away from his own practice and saw him apply his talents instead to roles such as CEO of Vodafone and Amazon.
On returning to his first passion, Humm’s contemporary practice brought together the intellectual rigour of a trained philosopher with the cynical eye of one used to deploying the iconography of commercial imagery. Through stories based on history and on societal critique, Humm dissects concepts of authenticity, facticity, absurdity, time and existence. Figures familiar from advertising, film and celebrity culture people canvases that themselves reference icons of classical art; Botticelli’s Venus, Manet’s Olympia, Fouquet’s Melun Diptych Madonna. Compositions are defined by both their origins in Heideggerian existentialist and metaphysical thinking, and by their rendering in a hard-edged, Pop Art style that saw critic Edward Lucie-Smith label Humm as the first ‘Pop-Expressionist’.
Philipp Rudolf Humm was born in 1959 in Germany. He studied Philosophy at Saarland University, Germany, then Business at Saarland University and IMD in Switzerland and on returning to his art practice studied at London’s Fine Art Studio School and Florence’s Academy of Art. Solo shows of his work have taken place at London’s Riflemaker Gallery, Hix and at an exclusive event at Saatchi and PURE London. He has been a finalist for the Ashurst, Circle Art, Sunny Art Centre and Broadway Art Festival, and his work has been included in group shows in London (Walton Fine Arts), Germany (Sans Titre, Werkhallen) and Venice (Palazzo Ca’Zanardi). In 2018 his work will be shown at the Museum of Nevada in Las Vegas and at the NYC and LA art fairs.
Humm’s artwork has been widely reviewed by the art and general press with his first show covered on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.
Humm currently lives and works in London.