'Hume has said that he is an artist without ideas. (Not having ideas is, of course, itself and idea.) He painted a Madonna in 1993 "because she has been painted so beautifully" Because she has been painted so beautifully: this was the test. What could Hume do with the subject, avoiding sentimentality, avoiding a pastiche of all the paintings of the Madonna, avoiding invidious comparison? Hume's Madonna is disconcertingly featureless, as plain as the surface of one of his doors. Her head is an irregular black ovoid painted in high-gloss household paint, as is the head of the infant Jesus whom she cradles. The Madonna's hair flows through the painting in ropes of white. Hume liked the idea that viewers of the painting could see their own dim reflections in the faces of Mary and baby Jesus.'
A. Searle, Gary Hume, XLVIII Venice Biennale, The British Council, London, 1999.