COSPLAY BY DAVID HANCOCK
Cosplay can be described as a type of performance art in which “cosplayers” wear costumes to represent a character thus creating an interactive sub-culture based on role-play. Subjects are mostly sourced from Manga cartoons, comic books, video games and live-action films. A selection of Manchester artist David Hancock’s paintings of cosplayers are currently on show in Livingston (2015). Hancock works in watercolour and pencil crayon to create photo-realist portraits of people and characters involved in this complex and increasingly popular activity.
Hancock’s engagement with the subject is best explained by the artist himself. Cathy Bell asked him some questions about his work.
As previously reported in an article (ArtWork Issue 208 May/June 2019) one of the aims of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Association in Roussillon in France is to promote the life and work of CRM with an educational programme for young people. This being the case, the custodians of the CRM interpretation centre at Port Vendres were delighted to welcome Matis Leggiadro when he requested to visit the centre. President of the Association Michele Grau recalls that “the centre was contacted by fifteen-year-old Matis founder of the Histal M website who already knew about CRM through his grandmother who lives near Port Vendres.” She adds “his project is to design an internet tool allowing all types of audiences to encounter art, heritage, architecture and history.”
The Royal Academy in London is currently showing an exhibition entitled Matisse in the Studio (5th August-12th November 2017) which explores Henri Matisse’s relationship with a collection of objects he used in his paintings. The actual objects are on display alongside works they feature in. There has been mixed critical response to the exhibition, some critics are taken by the idea, for example, one likens a large Spanish vase to “a tough Andalusian woman”. Others believe that Matisse’s artistry has been swallowed up by bric-a-brac, wondering unfairly why in 1942 he was more interested in a Venetian chair than he was in the war going on around him. This forgets the fact that during this time Matisse was recovering from a serious illness, the critic does have a point, however, when they suggest that the theme explored “is at best a footnote in the history of art”.