Patrick Hughes (born 20 October 1939) is British artist working in London. He is the creator of "reverspective", an optical illusion on a 3-dimensional surface where the parts of the picture which seem farthest away are actually physically the nearest.
Patrick Hughes was born in Birmingham, went to school in Hull and enrolled at the James Graham Day College in Leeds in 1959. Later he taught at the Leeds College of Art before becoming an independent artist. He has three sons by his first wife, Rennie Paterson, and was later married to the author Molly Parkin. Hughes lives above his studio near Old Street, London, with his wife, the historian and biographer Di Atkinson.
He has been represented by Angela Flowers, now Flowers East, gallery for more than forty years.
Hughes' early works were often playful, putting things back to front or squashing them flat, like Clown (1963) and Liquorice Allsorts (1960), setting words against images, like One Two (1962), or against themselves, like Tick Cross (1962). He explored visual oxymorons and paradoxes. His fascination with the illusion of perspective began with works like Infinity (1963), Three Doors (1964) and The Space Ruler (1965).
In the 1970s Hughes hung his investigations of perception and illusion on the motif of the rainbow in a series of prints and paintings, such as Pile of Rainbows (1973), Prison Rainbow (1973) and Leaning on a Landscape (1979). Later prints like Leaf Art (1975) and paintings like Realistic Paint (1977) expressed similar interests with colour.
His first "reverse perspective" or "reverspective" was Sticking Out Room (1964), which was a life-size room for the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in 1970. He returned to explore the possibilities of reverspective in 1990 with Up the Line and Down the Road (1991) Since then, his reverspectives have been shown in London, New York, Santa Monica, Seoul, Chicago, Munich and Toronto.
Hughes has written three books investigating themes that parallel his art, Vicious, Circles and Infinity: An Panoply of Paradoxes (with George Brecht); Upon the Pun: Dual Meaning in Words and Pictures, with Paul Hammond (London, W.H. Allen, 1978); and More on Oxymoron (Jonathan Cape, Ltd. 1984). He has written for The Observer, the The Guardian, the ICA Magazine, among others on art, artists and interesting lives. A collection of his writings, Left to write was published by Momentum in 2008. John Slyce's biography, Patrick Hughes: reverspective, was published in 2005.