As North Californian graffiti artist and painter Hueman’s colourful figurative and abstract mash-ups arrive in artrepublic’s Brighton gallery – in the form of an exclusive print – we dig into her creative backstory.
Street art aficionados may be familiar with the work of Allison Torneros, who paints under the name Hueman. Even if you haven’t seen her massive, energetically colourful works in person, sprayed on walls in the US or Europe, you may have unwittingly witnessed her designs running around the basketball courts of the Rio Olympics - Hueman designed the US Women’s basketball team’s shoes with Nike - or on a custom-designed colourful X-Box collaboration with Microsoft.
Since graduating from UCLA in 2008 with a degree in Design and Media Arts, Hueman has been building a following - especially since taking her work from the studio to the streets, scaling up her paintings to bring art to urban environments and audiences. Working on a much bigger scale than she was used to gave the artist new energy. In an interview with Juxtapoz magazine, she said: ‘it was like a light switch turned on [...] I was using my entire body to paint, I was talking to people, I was collaborating, I was in the sun. I felt alive again. I literally felt human. That's where the name Hueman comes from.’
Hueman’s work is absolutely saturated with that sense of being alive. This is drawn from a perfect balance of the artist’s choice of bold bright colours, her subject matter and her image-making process. You might wonder how the artist achieves that fluid-looking finish? Starting with a freestyle series of paints splashes, drips and sprays - a la Jackson Pollock(?) - she builds her refined, highly stylised images, which draw on the theme of the human condition. As a a result, Hueman’s work is packed with motion. It’s dynamic.
And that is exactly the word we would use to describe the artist’s exclusive piece for artrepublic. A limited edition of 25, each individually hand-finished by Hueman, Silent Power does what its title promises. It makes you stand to attention in front of it, without needing to be told. The female figure at its centre is strong and confident - holding her ground and fixing her sideways gaze as energetic lines and textures swirl around her, creating movement and energy.
The longer you look at this print, the more structures, finishes and colours emerge - you begin to really appreciate the complexity of Hueman’s creative process. Imagine this scaled up on the side of a building – even at this size, it packs a punch. Looking downwards, offering out an extended arm towards you, the position of power of the woman at its heart is emphasised. There is nothing passive about this print. It’s filled with vibrant life.
Draw on Hueman’s experience of painting outdoors and bring one of her powerful pieces into your collection – it will make you, and your space, come to life.