Is it destruction? Is it renewal (look at that shiny candy-colored paint!)? Are these just crushed oil drums… or something else?
The ongoing result of a journey taking Hill from the top of the corporate ladder, back to his roots as an artist, and through years of study with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn -- SMASHED is Hill's latest body of work, currently showing in two simultaneous (and the artist's first) solo shows in NY -- one opening tonight. See below.
In Hill's words, "Construction and destruction all illuminate the nature of impermanence and non-self. To take a found object and transform it, perhaps slightly, perhaps quite a bit is a process I enjoy. It interests me to play a part in the transformation of the profane to sacred and the sacred to profane--transforming anger to understanding, the industrial to the human. I like to work briskly and quietly—in mindfullness and with gratitude--to keep my heart free and my mind out of the way."
Bravo! But "quietly"??
If you could only see how each piece is made -- in a scrap yard, with an enormous crane dropping a weight (a metal chest, as large as a car, filled with cement blocks and scrap metal) onto these oil drums, to crush them. And what a transformation --- how fluid and soft these oil drums now seem, painted and glossy, fabric-like almost … I can imagine the breathing - the collapse and release of the air.
For you art historians... some help from Mark Daniel Cohen. to place this work in context, here "…Some Pop Art reasserts the world, and some Pop Art, a rarer subspecies, erases it. The art of Gregg Hill may be seen as a Pop Art descendent, but it is of the rarer kind. Like Impressionism, which may be viewed at the first manner of abstraction, it is a vision of the world dissipating, of the world dissolving like a shifting, thinning, brightening set of mists, a vision of all the we believed to be permanent, unalterable, and inescapable parting like a veil, as if our three-dimensional world of defined and definite forms were yawning open to reveal a new dimension of new and transformative formulations – an art created for the sake of instigating an insight into what lies beyond."
See these in person tonight, June 5th, at opening reception for Hill's show "SMASHED" at Serrano Contemporary, Chelsea, 6-8pm.
547 West 27th Street (btw 10th &11th). 212-239-1271. And see the concurrent show at 3rd Rail Studio, 49 Plain Ave., New Rochelle, NY. 914-712-9831
Know any artists whose work would make a home a lovelier place? Send ideas to The Gallery. Thanks!