Drunken orgys, defaced bibles and burning casinos– these are just a few of the scandalous topics covered in William Hogarth’s artwork.
“It’s just super juicy,” said David Spencer-Pierce, printmaking junior.
Spencer-Pierce chose to curate a printmaking series based on the artist’s work describing Hogarth as “the Jerry Spring of the 1730s.”
Spencer-Pierce said Hogarth’s prints were so popular before he even released them to the public, there were counterfeits being created. Hogarth then held a movement alongside other artists, said Spencer-Pierce, that led to the first copyright law being passed.
“They call it Hogarth’s Law. So, content-wise, it’s a lot of fun. But that little historical twist on it makes it a very interesting series of work,” he said.
The show is called “Bogarting Hogarth” and features eight artists, including Spencer-Pierce. Each artist chose one print within Hogart’s original series, “A Rake’s Process” to reinterpret.
Spencer-Pierce said “A Rake’s Process” is a William Hogarth’s most notable work. It is a “narrative story” told using a series of prints done by William Hogarth. The tale is about a man named Tom Rakewell who inherits a large amount of money from his dead father. The man ends up spending the money on sins such as gambling and prostitutes, and ends up imprisoned in a madhouse.
A reception for the show was held on Oct. 10 on the bottom floor of the IU Southeast Library from 5 – 6 p.m., which displayed copies of the original prints alongside the artist’s renditions. The prints will remain on display until Nov. 7.
Other IU Southeast students featured in the show are printmaking major Kaitie White, drawing major Katy Traughber, as well as graduate Alex Stotts. Artists Adam Rake and Izzy Jarvis participated from IU Bloomington. Spencer-Pierce said he also included artists from NY (Krissy Rubbles), and IA (Cameron Perry).
Spencer-Pierce said each artist was able to choose which print they preferred to recreate, and make 10 prints of their new piece. Then the artists each received a set of all eight prints. Full sets were also given to the Undergraduate Creative Research Grant Office (which helped fund Spencer-Pierce’s show), and to the IU Southeast Library Gallery to be put on display.
“A print-exchange, really, is what this took the form of,” said Spencer-Pierce.
Kate Moore, gallery coordinator at the IU Southeast Library, said this show was particularly interesting because of its variety of artists.
“I think it’s nice to see artists’ take from all around the country on something that’s hundreds of years old that still has relevance today,” said Moore.
Spencer-Pierce said what he most enjoyed about putting together this show was researching the original Hogarth prints. This included taking a trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art to meet with Martin Krause, curator of prints and drawings.
“I got to look at a whole set of the original Hogarth prints. It was a lot of fun,” said Spencer-Pierce.
To learn more about the project, visit www.bogartinghogarth.com.