Hugh Mendes is well known for his ongoing series of obituary paintings, which
in recent years have mainly focused on other artists.
He initially studied Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art. His teachers included David
Hockney, Euan Uglow, Craigie Aitchison, and David Medalla.
In the early stages of his career Mendes’ practice responded entirely to
political events. He began making oil paintings of newspaper pages in 2001.
Scheduled to be shown at his MA final show, opening on September 11th
2001, the artist portentously paired George Bush with a Kalashnikov aimed at
him by the then relatively unknown Osama Bin Laden. This became the
precursor of one of Mendes’ two obsessions: the first being The War on
Terror, and the second being an unyielding recreation of newspaper
Obituaries. In recent years these have especially featured artist’s self-portraits
as the image.
Mendes’ work can be viewed as an act of documenting history, an indexing that
is created simultaneous to the establishment of his own legacy.