Gin Lane - A 2016 Reinterpretation
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Gin Lane 2016 bares all in this stark portrait of British society, from obesity and addiction, to alcoholism and mental health. The artist, Thomas Moore, depicts a suicidal office worker, a modern-day pawnbroker and an obese mother biting down on a burger as her child grasps French fries.
A reinterpretation of William Hogarth’s 1751 renowned artwork Gin Lane, Moore’s reimagined Gin Lane 2016 was commissioned by the Royal Society For Public Health to mark their 160th anniversary. And similarly to Hogarth’s iconic 18th-century cartoon of society’s troubles, including alcohol abuse, squalor and prosperous pawnbrokers, Gin Lane 2016 illustrates a deprived and toxic culture.
Set in the same scene as Hogarth’s Gin Lane, an area near to Oxford Street in London, Moore’s artwork captures the importance of mental health as an office worker stands atop a building, readying himself to jump. In the lower part of the work are London commuters exiting the underground glued to their smartphones, suggesting somewhat of a dark and lonely existence.
Fast food plays its part with a bustling chicken shop and junk food adverts. Even the pigeons are plump. And above this depiction of society are high-rise buildings, continually growing as scaffolds erect more skyscrapers, perhaps commenting on the wealth and power of the city which thrives off the hardships of those beneath.
Moore’s artwork is a vision of society’s health presented at its worst – suicide, smartphone addiction, alcoholism, obesity, personal debt. In many ways, society has not much changed since Hogarth’s destitute Gin Lane.
Gin Lane 2016 was on exhibition alongside Hogarth’s Gin Lane at the Foundling Museum in London. To purchase your own Gin Lane 2016 art print, go to Thomas Moore’s website for more information.