They say you learn things like artforms, musical instruments, and languages best if you take them up in childhood. But sometimes a person just has a knack for a skill and can pick it up and excel at it well past their prime age for learning. That’s not to say that British artist Jack Hardwicke is old—he’s just 23. But he only picked up the skill of creating visual art 18 months ago, and already he is creating beautiful, engaging abstract pieces that are something of a mystery as far as their composition.
With a lot of these images, it’s hard to tell if they are paintings, photographs, photographs of paintings, or some other creative combination of mediums. Having already gained the temperament of an experienced and philosophical artist, Hardwicke chooses not to disclose his trade secrets on the basis that he’d rather hear interpretations of his work unadulterated by preconceptions.
We’re excited to have caught onto his work so early in his career, because it’s not every day that you get to see a talented artist grow from a sapling. And yet, here he is, his skill exemplified by the works you can see below.
We spoke with Hardwicke, finding him to be a young artist who is sure of what he intends to do, and is fully conscious of his use of technology and his role, both in his work and within art in general. According to him, “Sticks and stones are not worthier than Photoshop and digital cameras."
The Creators Project: In your series of abstract images, what elements do you use to create each piece?
Jack Hardwicke: As a general rule I have decided not to talk too much about how and where my images originate. The less people know, the more they engage their imaginations and that is one of the main goals of my work, to engage people. As is the case with most art, music, film, painting, photography, it is not what the work means to the artist, but rather how you relate to it that matters. It is for this reason that I will rarely reveal the exact details of how my work was created. Since people have started asking me these kinds of questions I am always impressed and amazed at the various ways that people think the images were constructed when they try to guess. That is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of making abstract art.
Do you think your young age is somehow reflected on your work?
I think my age has less to do with my work than my background. I am 23 and that is old enough to have produced seminal works of art (something I have not) so I don’t think 23 is that young for an artist these days. However, I have only been doing this for 18 months, and I think that probably shows in some of my work. It is only in the last three months or so that I really feel like I am making interesting pieces on a regular basis and following through on ideas, concepts, and projects. I always want to improve what I do, to move forward, evolve, and keep making art that affects some people.
One of the things that I think works for me is my lack of any formal artistic tutoring. I was never interested in art as a child and I have never been taught about the history of art, or about composition, techniques, etc. I am obviously influenced by the work that I see around me, but I am coming at this with a fairly narrow-minded perspective. I am making the art that I like, the way I want to, I’m not following any rule book—for better or worse.
I read in an interview that you have a day job. What do you do for a living?
This is by far the worst question, ha! I have a nine-to-five office job—for now. I work in the electric vehicle infrastructure industry. Fortunately, I work with some nice people and I don’t have to take my work home with me, so I get plenty of time (though there is never enough) to shoot.
Below, see some of his stunning work.
A Colourful Bliss Beyond this World (2012)
Bubble & Scratch (2012)
Laurent (2012) (Poster for Laurent Garnier’s performance in Brighton)
Rose Tinted Lens (2012)
Splitting Decay 2012