"My artwork represents a longstanding belief in the possibility of translating human experience and feeling through the raw materials of painting. For quite some time I have been probing an artistic vein in which naturalistic forms shape-shift inside an abstract color space. The figuration is rooted in the human body, and more specifically, the links between brain and viscera. The physicality of working large allows the body to override the brain; only then does the door open to serendipity. When successful, the imagery and the materials combine to create a psychological and emotional charge with the viewer.
I don’t think of myself as a figurative painter, and yet figuration clearly looms large in these paintings. Indeed, this body of work belongs to an ongoing series titled “Twisted Figures”, a play on both the literal meaning of twisted (coiled, torqued, wrung) and the non-literal (warped, unstable, abnormal). I’m not interested in narratives, but I am interested in the potential for metaphor. I think of these paintings as of the body and embodiments of… They are very physical in their making, visceral in appearance, and suggest a figure under intense stress, embattled, and thus very much of our world."
- Ian Hughes (artist statement)