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Academic Level at Time of Creation
Date of Creation
Casey Hill | Altered Perceptions | Spring 2017
I look at seemingly normal or unattractive things which have colors or textures that intrigue me. In my work I focus on objects that are commonplace. My paintings then emphasize these points of interest and my own personal correlations to change the viewer’s experience of the object itself.
I find Rachel Whiteread’s work motivational due to her subject matter, commonplace items. Her representation of these items creates a sense of preciousness and a need for preservation. She allows the objects to stand as their own unique thing by creating plaster forms as a sort of preservation of the item. The viewer then is forced to confront these objects and question their importance and history. Similarly, I find Josephine Halvorson’s work inspirational due to the aspects she captures of common, everyday items that are. She renders these items in their natural environment, but by scaling her paintings so that only a part of the object is shown the viewer is forced to focus on something that might otherwise be overlooked. Halvorson often focuses on textures and smaller details, such as scratches or chips on the item depicted.
I create works that appears to be abstraction, but are not. By distorting a tangible object so that it is not immediately recognizable, I allow the viewer to see the painting without previous recognition, and thus any prejudice, of the thing that is depicted. Without this sense of recognition, the viewer then has more liberation in making their own associations with the work and can investigate it more freely. This allows the viewer to approach my works, allowing them to find their own personal associations to what I depict. I begin to play with the idea of the sublime within my work. The sublime is something that is beyond normal concepts of measurement. It’s an idea of grandeur that we can’t comprehend, such as the importance and beauty of ordinary items. By altering scale and using a traditional media I play with the relevance and importance of these items, thus bringing into question the sublime within the trivial.
My works have evolved from a simple abstraction based on scale into something else that takes on a life of its own, thus transforming my paintings from a depiction of a thing anew to myself allowing the viewer to see the painted representation as a new experience. While working on my paintings I have begun to include not just what is there, but what else could be there. This can include my thoughts or personal correlations. By doing so, my process allows the paintings to evolve on their own. With my work I have begun to encourage this more, from building additional textures and colors to allowing additional forms to work their way into the painting. I find Chuck Close’s work inspirational due to how he distorts his subject matter. Close uses a variety of color and organic shapes to create a distortion that, when viewed from up close, creates what appears to be an abstracted work that uses a variety of shapes and colors that would not be expected within an actual portrait.
By being open minded and considering objects on different levels, we begin to appreciate their uniqueness. My work relies on close attention to detail in order to encourage people to look closer and make observations of their own. I hope for others to realize that there is something beautiful to be found in items that are frequently overlooked. I play with the idea of the sublime within the trivial by altering scale and using a traditional media to depict beauty and importance of the items I reference.
oil on canvas
All photography by: Casey Hill and/or Ty Elrod
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Hill, Casey, "Casey Hill: Altered Perceptions" (2017). B.F.A. Practicum Exhibition (ART 498). 23.