James Hopkins, an artist from the UK, is going after the big skull. Who ever would have thought it possible to make teeth out of beer bottles and champagne glasses? In his Vanitas series Hopkins takes on the idea of the classic still life paintings of the same name from the 16th/17th centuries in northern Europe, which usually depict skulls, ripening fruit, hourglasses, etc. — anything reflecting the passing of time. Fittingly, as the word means “emptiness” in Latin and corresponds to the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of all material goods and pursuits. Hopkins modernizes those classical paintings’ assertion of death and brevity of life with the arrangement of modern household objects on book shelves — who needs a canvas when you have a bookshelf? Instead of fruit there are the empty drinking devices. Instead of eyes, disco balls. Death overrides the whole thing with the objects arranged in a skull outline. Time keeps on ticking, ticking, into the future… but of course partying and music still keep things fun. Fuck it, right? Check out more pictures in the gallery — compare and contrast Hopkins’ work with one of the original.
James Hopkins flatters his own "Vanitas" still life portraits