In this work, two pairs of bare feet confront two other pairs, their toenails outlined with raised paint. The toes nearly touch and there is a hesitant sensuality in the gap between them. It is unclear as to whether the feet, or the dark shape that separates them, are the main image. The artist has commented: ‘I just do very simple things describing anxiety and love and beauty, sadness and pathetic hopes. The under painting is like the flesh and the surface on top is as if you've applied make-up. I keep finding myself more interested in the application of make-up to cover the flesh.’

Many of Gary Hume’s paintings, including ‘Four Feet in the Garden’, are made using gloss paint on an aluminium support. More often associated with the world of interior decoration, gloss paint gives the surfaces of Hume’s paintings a lustrous yet impersonal finish, creating a reflective surface that is difficult to penetrate. As the critic Adrian Searle has suggested, ‘Hume’s work might be described as a kind of mutated neo-pop, aberrant, bright and revelling in its apparent shallowness’.


  • Title: Four Feet in the Garden
  • Creator: Gary Hume
  • Date Created: 1995
  • Physical Dimensions: 221 x 170.9cm
  • Rights: The artist
  • Medium: Gloss paint on aluminium

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