Tom Hunter: Living in Hell and Other Stories by Tracy Chevalier
Tom Hunter has become internationally renowned for creating engaging, distinctive and often provocative photographic reworkings of paintings from the past. In 1998 he won the Kobal Photographic Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London, for Woman Reading a Possession Order, a beautifully crafted photograph based on a composition by the Dutch Master, Johannes Vermcer (1632 - 1675). This book presents some of the striking images that have established Hunter's reputation, together with new work created especially for the exhibition Tom Hunter: Living in Hell and Other Stories at the National Gallery, London (7 December - 12 March 2006). Many of these images draw on the lives of the ordinary residents of Hackney, East London, as captured in the headlines of Hunter's local newspaper, the Hackney Gazette. These startling, sometimes tragic, stories are retold in carefully staged photographs, whose compositions are frequently derived from paintings in the National Gallery's collection. An essay by Tracy Chevalier examines Hunter's story-telling, while Colin Wiggins discusses the relationship between Hunter's work and Old Master paintings in the National Gallery and elsewhere.