The work of Manchester based artist David Hancock focuses on youth subcultures and in this latest solo exhibition he focuses on the world of ‘Cosplay’. Short for ‘costume play’ the relative recent craze is one that people have adopted to dress up as characters from various computer games, comic books and films.
For this exhibition Hancock has chosen to render his subjects using photo realistic style water colour portraits. Even though the theme of Hancock’s work is modern, his style has its roots firmly based in the Pre-Raphaelites with signifiers taken from various historical sources. Particular focus is given over to the intentional real appearance of each Cosplayer and the intricate details present on their costumes. This has enabled him to capture both the personality of the sitter and their costumed alter ego at the same time.
For this exhibition Hancock has not only immersed himself in the culture of Cosplay but has especially created pieces featuring Midland based Cosplayers in various locations around the city of Wolverhampton. Hancock is interested in examining the world of escapist fantasy which Cosplaying allows its participants to enter and by using the city as a back drop he is able to show how Cosplayers transform the ordinary world around us into a realm of fantasy.
Words: Stephanie Potter
David Hancock: Cosplay
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, WV1 1DU
Until 1 June