Published: 25 February 2019
Scottish painter Joe Hargan's work is vibrant and bold with inspiration from painters such as Rothko and Francis Bacon.
Hargan's paintings often include a character with a red nose wearing a tuxedo who goes by the name of "Sniffy".
Above: "Sniffy", detail from "The Big Question. CLICK HERE to see the full set of available paintings at Thompson's Galleries.
In the year 2000, Joe Hargan had three painting selected to exhibit at London's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. The entire trio sold during the show, a feat in itself for the Scottish painter. The smallest of these popular pieces introduced 'Sniffy' for the first time, provoking a huge interest with requests for more pictures in this vein. Thus, 'Sniffy' evolved and soon became a series.
Sniffy, who appears bumptious but likeable, has become almost universally famous. In creating the personality, someone suggested to Hargan that the figure 'looked a bit sniffy'. In the early days, the artist was unaware that the character would provoke such a strong response and positive reaction.
This lovable stock character allows Hargan to create humorous narratives or little playlets in his pictures. Hargan invites the viewer to interpret the various symbolic devices and metaphors contained within, what he terms his little 'happenings' or compositions. Sniffy is always shown in profile and has become a signature of Hargan and much loved amongst collectors.
Although Sniffy's prominence has boosted Hargan's success, the painter does not want to be typecast – there is much more to his art and evinced in the breadth of what he is prepared to tackle in his painting range. The character does allow Hargan to post tough questions in a tongue-in-cheek manner, for example in the painting "The Big Question" where Sniffy encounters Brexit (now available to view at Thompsons's gallery London as part of 'Out of this World').
Visit Thompson's Gallery London to see all of Hargan's new paintings in the flesh, on display through Saturday, 2nd March 2019. Email email@example.com or call +44(0)2079353595 with any questions or interest.
Above: "The Big Question" OIl on canvas 20 x 20 inches £ 4,100 CLICK HERE for more info/enquire to buy.