PHANTOM EYE – JIMMY BAKER + MATTHEW HILLOCK [ INTERVIEW ]
Continuing their streak of successful exhibitions, Zhulong Gallery presented PHANTOM EYE: Jimmy Baker + Matthew Hillock earlier this month. Each artist is strong on their own, and pairing them together for an exhibition gave the viewer a truly unique experience of multimedia works full of energy, color, and movement. Jimmy uses a variety of techniques including painting, stencils, printing, and digital collage. Matthew creates his works in a 3D space, and transforms them into 2D prints of the digital landscape. Matthew’s inclusion of gifs rendered in 3D and their matching 2D canvases compare digital motion with its static surface. On display until August 8 at Zhulong Gallery in Dallas. For more information click here.
As opposed to the phenomena of an amputated limb, Phantom Eye proposes ways of seeing and understanding that speak to loss, imagination, and memory while holding together the past and present.
– Aja Martin
1. What were each of your inspirations for your respective pieces?
J: I have been thinking a lot about the collection of data, and my process of collecting found images. The idea of a sieve filtering out some information, while retaining others came to me in the process of making these works, and it is central to the new paintings. While the subjects of collection, big data, and image streams confront us daily, painting (in the grand scheme) has little reverence for these notions. I enjoy the friction of bringing these two worlds of interest together to support, compromise, and collude with each other all at once.
M: The groups of work in the show were inspired from a trip I took to Dallas with my father earlier this year. After meeting with Aja and viewing the space, along with everything that was going on through out that trip and meeting; along with a lot of emotional stories that I saw interweaving into my own life drama that resonated strongly, I noticed certain iconography reappearing within a small time frame. The meeting with Aja seemed to be a pinnacle of hindsight for me.
2. How do you create each piece? Are they meant to play off each other or be displayed together?
J: My process starts with layering spray paint stencils, and then masking out large shapes to be painted inside of. Around the mid-way point of progress, I photograph the work, and make a digital collage that is then printed directly overtop of the painting with a large format digital printer that uses UV cured ink. After the print, I bring it back into the studio and work more layers of impasto oils, spray paint, stencils, and sanding.
M: Each piece I create is usually started from a point of collage work. I usually layer up images in photoshop – all images are found online or created by myself. The google image search results become more ironic/satirical the more poetic your search term. After the collages I abstract the final composition/motif from that and translate that into a 3D painting studio. I intersect 3 landscapes and animate them with formula actions/sine waves. This creates a surface mimicking the way canvas is made and gives me a greater sense of texture. After painting in 3D space I can translate the UV maps into 2D paintings/prints as well, the finished 3D painting is recorded in C4D and treated as a detail scanning/video painting.
3. How did you find each other for this show? Even though your inspirations are vastly different, your aesthetics come together beautifully.
J: Zhulong had already been looking at each of our works separately, then decided to just put us together for our first show with them.
M: I think Zhulong found us to be honest, Jimmy was a blast to show with and the coincidence of having our work fit together well was a nice affirmation.
4. What do you think about the art scene in Dallas, and how do you see it developing in the future?
J:It’s hard to get a sense of the real local scene. I don’t know many artists in Dallas, mostly curators and dealers. The community seems engaged and very supportive of the museum culture, so hopefully that translates into the gallery scene as well.
M: I can see how space can be the biggest reward to an artist in Dallas and the grant money I heard about while I was there seemed ideal for an artist looking to grow within a city that wants to invest in them. The museums have really great collections of work.
5. Do either of you have any future exhibitions in the works?
J:I can’t officially announce these shows yet, but there will be a traveling version of a show I was previously in, as well as some curated works of mine going to a future show. Sorry to be vague, I just don’t announce anything until it is official.
M: I’m scheduled for a solo show with Zhulong again next summer.