“It’s been over 50 years since Andy Warhol made his idolatrous celebrations of Marilyn Monroe’s visage, and it seems that artists’ fascination with popular culture refuses to wane.
Young, up-and-coming artist Elmo Hood, who hails from Southampton but has been making work in Shoreditch, East London, since 2011, is making waves in the Pop Art framework laid out by the likes of Warhol, Hamilton and Lichtenstein half a century ago. Self taught, finding solace in art-making following a family bereavement, Hood fuses iconic images of celebrity with street art symbolism: the democracy of graffiti tags contrasted with the elite singularity of celebrity.
In an anticipated turn, Hood’s lively works have been snapped up by celebrity clients including actress Nina Dobrev, rap artist The Game and Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts, and shared online by the likes of P-Diddy and Jessie J.
One of his most successful projects focuses on arguably popular culture’s most aesthetically charged vice: the kings, queens and naughty knaves that litter Las Vegas’ poker tables. These tools of the supreme risk-taker are transformed into miniature tales of love, loss and violent emotions between the pack’s characters, one such image of the King and Queen of Hearts achieving viral status online after its publication.
As Hood’s name begins to transcend British borders, with the Pop Art painter showing in galleries across New York, Paris, Munich and Ibiza, you can be sure that Elmo Hood is one to watch”