Exploring the world of Phil Kho

By Erica Entrop

The work of Phil Kho has many layers and elements which blend together so seamlessly that the boundaries between each facet can not be clearly drawn. In this blog I will investigate this motif present in three of Kho’s pieces that highlight and yet blur modern and traditional modes of interpreting the world around us.

To begin one must be aware of Phil’s background in environmental and graphic design. His resume highlights the many books he has published in these fields and his decades long involvement in the development of public spaces and parks in Korea. The themes of urban development and graphic design play a large role in the work currently on display at the Lois Lambert Gallery.


The first piece “City Construction” has two main characters almost at war with one another to inhabit the view from this window. The battle, as Phil describes it, is between the analog and the digital, the natural and the urban. These two forces trying to control one space in ways that are undeniably at odds.

The imagery was assembled from many different construction scenes that have been layered in such a way as to give the viewer a sense of the never ending stretch of the hand of man to manipulate our environment. However, as Kho has explained in his artist statement his work is about the meeting of contrasting ideas and in this work he demonstrates this intention by having a layer of almost black trees creating an impenetrable wall of nature. Giving these plants a permanent quality as they fence in the ever expanding cement structures. The men, simple silhouettes in the foreground, appearing as part of the scaffolding and not any part of the natural world.

Another element that Kho implements so well, is that of contrasting palettes.The structures and figures composed of mostly black and grey, exist in a muted world and again Phil makes the natural world known by giving it a palette of very bold, very rich colors. The sweeping organic shapes of color contrasted against the rigid straight monochromatic structures creates a pieces that is both chaotic and controlled, rigid and flowing.


Phil Kho is a master of mood and in each piece he manages to capture an emotion which the viewer is compelled to share.  This work “Rural Landscape” captures that feature so beautifully, showing the viewer a quiet scene by a lake. The piece is almost entirely monochromatic, but again he implements very controlled use of color to maintain interest and energy without effecting the serenity of the scene

Another feature ever-present in Kho’s work is the window frame. In all of his works currently on display he utilizes the concept of a frame to give the viewer the true sensation of looking out into a space. Sometimes the viewer feels as though their space is being invaded by the constructions crews hard at work as in “City Construction” or that there is an element of voyeurism, giving the viewer a sense of invading a space.


The last work that will be discussed is “Road Construction” in which the struggle between these two forces, man and nature, is playing out. The view is one of a calm bay, in a cool and limited palette that is being crowed by two cliff faces. climbing precariously on these imposing characters, are men working to build a pathway in full color and detail giving them visual prominence. Their task seems impossible and dangerous, yet one that is bound to be completed as that is the nature of man, to overcome.

Kho’s work demonstrates his ability to play with concepts and materials that appear to be incompatible. From his use of opposing color palettes to the very imagery he uses, all of the elements of his work seem to fight and yet together that strike a harmony that his both inviting and intriguing. His process mirrors that of his concepts in that he builds the basis of each work digitally utilizing software to blend and join materials from many different sources into one congruent landscape. He then adds, by hand, the paint and organic shapes and lines that define the objects and actors present in each setting. He is a master of the balancing act showing us both the analog and digital aspects of our modern world.

Exploring the world of Phil Kho

Catherine Coan: Artist Talk

Transcribed from her artist talk July 20th 2016

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Hi, thank you all for coming. I am sure some of you got caroused, so thank you. Taxidermy has been around for hundreds of thousands of years in some form.  People started tanning hides- sometimes just drying them out, sometimes with the urine of other animals- thousands of years ago to keep themselves warm. So in some sense, they were doing taxidermy, they were wearing the taxidermy

Back in the Victorian era, taxidermy started to create hybrid art; taxidermy catsversus trophies, i.e. “I shot this lion in Africa.” Walter Potter was a very famous Victorian taxidermist, you might have seen his work.  He does the kitten weddings or a doll house full of doll house furniture and taxidermy mice having dinner together. They are sort of horrible and cute at the same time. Back during that era, taxidermist would build their own forms. That’s where the term “stuffing” comes from. When you would see a piece that’s finished, there would actually be some bones inside that were wrapped with twine and there would actually be cotton batting stuffed in there. The twine is called “Excelsior” it’s kind of like a raffia, that you can make volume with, and that’s what would be in here.


Today what’s under there looks like this (form). Sport taxidermists, who do a lot, do 30 deer say from hunters, will actually buy the mold that this was poured into. Because I don’t do enough to warrant that, I just buy these. There are two big taxidermy companies in America and you can buy these forms. I measure a hide that I have which is basically just leather. When I get a hide it is leather on one side, and hair on the other. I measure the hide, I buy a form to fit and I can also alter the form. So like this guy, when he started all of his legs were straight like this and I wanted him to be running. So you can see here there is re-bar that runs up through the leg. So I broke the foam, bent the re-bar and sculpted his knees back and today he looks like he’s running. So you can alter forms to do different things. For example if I wanted to turn his head toward you, I would simply remove the head, turn it and then sculpt it in with some clay or this blue foam I’m using. so that he can have different positions. So when you look at taxidermy that’s actually what you are looking at. This under here is this. And a lot of people, not surprisingly, think there is still part of the animal in there, but there’s not anymore. There was at a point in taxidermy.

The process then is I use a hide paste, which is like a really thick Elmer’s glue. I hydrate photo eyes.JPGthe hide so that it’s wet and stretchable and then I sew the hide up over the form and then making the face look life like. When you see the nose is shiny, the eyes are shiny, and it looks alive this is all paint and epoxy, so it is different treatments that are put on there to make something dead look alive. The eyes are glass.  A lot of the musculature you see, like the veins and the movement around the eyes is clay that I’ve molded and modeled it so there’s actually some sculpting that’s happening to make the face look real. So really when you see a piece of taxidermy the only thing that’s real if the hide itself and then antlers or horns and even sometimes those are fake because some times they are not legal to have. So often times taxidermists will use an epoxy or resin mold to make them. So when you are looking at this taxidermy, that’s what you are looking at.

IMG_1375Going back to Walter Potter in the Victorian era who did like the kitten weddings- there’s been a movement with taxidermy in the last maybe ten or fifteen years in the US and across the world in London and Iceland- there are people who are doing what I’m doing and sort of making taxidermy strange and using it in art in some way whether it’s individual pieces or whether it’s full installations like this and most of us are women. It’s funny, I’d say like eighty percent are women. So it’s kind of a Feminization of a traditionally male genre. And very often the training for taxidermy was kind of a “good ol’ boys” club. It was very hard for women to even get information about it and even sometimes the “good ol’ boys” wouldn’t give the other “good ol’ boys” the trade secrets. and it’s kind of opened up recently which was lucky for me.

072816Y.jpgThe way that all of this started was my background was actually in writing. I write mostly poetry and I also teach literature. For a brief time I owned an art gallery in downtown LA and I’ve always been interested in assemblage artists, like Keinholz and Ruaschenberg and their ilk. And so I started showing a lot of contemporary assemblage artists in my gallery. I had this idea of this idea of sort of visual poems, little narratives in cages and that’s where the “Canary Suicides” started and I started showing them and making them and showing them in my gallery. The idea of the “Canary Suicides” is that we are all in our own cages literally or metaphorically and that we are miserable there and so we kill ourselves in some way even if we are not actually killing ourselves, we make our lives miserable. The canaries are embodying this, literally. They’ve killed themselves in their cages and they always leave a note of some kind, they always have money hidden somewhere, and because they are hypocrites like us, they also have a pet  that’s in some kind of a cage they can’t get out. They are kind of fun to look at and find the clues of what’s going on and all of them you can figure out, kind of by

title and what you see. When I had the idea for these, I was actually having a taxidermist do the birds for me, and we found a couple of breeders in the US who would save birds for us when they died and lest anyone imagine that we are choking the little birds to death, a live canary sells for around the $300 and the dead ones I get for about $5. So they have absolutely no link to me killing the canaries. I had a taxidermist who was doing them for me and I kind of wanted to learn and be more


authentic in the process and do them myself. So I sort of blithely signed up for a six week taxidermy school program in Montana. I lived in a one room cabin and went to this school eight hours a day for six weeks with a bunch of red-neck dudes which they actually ended up being tremendously helpful and are all still my friends, but they were sort of wondering what I was doing there. They found out.

So at taxidermy school you learn to do not just birds but all of the animals. So I learned to do sort of soup to nuts and I found out that I actually liked doing the other animals as well. I started having ideas for sort of exploding out of the canary suicides into other dioramas. I started doing my first deer which showed in a couple of other galleries. There’s a deer here that’s split in half and he’s actually become a geode and pinata in one. From there I started doing whole room installations. So you basically have dioramas inside dioramas inside dioramas. I am also very fascinated by geodes so you’ll notice recurring through out here, there are geodes or references to geodes


I also like the idea of predator and prey and kind of what, what we think our relationship is also owner to pet, what we think our relationships are with animals. Domestic and otherwise, and what they really are. So kind of look for those relationships through out. You can especially see those in the collage that I do, which is prints or paintings that I have altered. So you see the prints, kind of look for what’s going on, what appears to be going on with the pets at first and what happens when you look closer. There’s a little lion that recurs throughout, who could be a guardian or could be stalking you kind of have to figure that out.

What inspired this particular installation?

I like the idea of animals entering domestic spaces. Asking us to look closer and to think about our relationship with the natural world. Its a room, might be a teenagers room that you would normally walk into and expect to see maybe some board games and hair brush set. But you would expect to see a deer hanging from a canopy with bat wings or an open geode pinata. which is a very adult pinata by the way he’s got surprises inside of him. I like the idea of animals in domestic spaces in a different way, rather than just the idea of pet because it asks us to think about how we anthropomorphize animals and what they might 072816CC

Walk around take a look, the zebra installation is not for sale because it is illegal to sell zebras in the state of California even though he is about 60 years old. The zebra is called “Look Closer” which is also a line, do you remember the movie “American Beauty” with Kevin Spacey and there are the roses through out? The  Zebra is called look closer and if you look at the bird cage ” I never promised you (rose garden)” which is he killed himself in his rose garden, his note says “look closer”. So the idea is that its kind of a treasure hunt or a set of Russian stacking dolls, the closer you look the smaller it gets and the details are really important.

What is the correlation between the zebra and the room?

Just the idea of “look closer”. Something interesting about zebras is that they are black with white stripes not the opposite. There have been some fetal studies of zebras lately that they are black when they are in utero and then they start getting white stripes. So even there you have to look closer.

They are many zebras with different stripes and they mean different things or are from different tribes?

Yes, and there’s gang warfare

How about we all sort of walk in and then you can explain the narratives behind each of the pieces?


This one is a “Canary Suicide”, it’s called “How many in a Hearse?” referring to the idea of the clown car and the answer would be one and its this guys and he’s got a clown nose. So this is kind of his green room where he prepares for the circus and he’s got all of the thing that you think a clown would have in his room. He’s got an accordion, a rubber chicken, full bar, pack of camel cigarettes-a couple put out. He’s got a canary in a cage. He’s got a dressing table that lights up and a lamp over the sofa that lights up, but its a little bright in here so you can’t see. He’s got what is called a giraffe unicycle, so he does the high up unicycle.

Where do you find stuff like that?

Some of it I make. I did not make that one. I have a woman named Nancy Gaily in Nebraska, who makes custom stuff like that for me because she is really good with tiny stuff. My eyes aren’t that good. If you are ever interested in buying anything tiny, Google 1:12, and put in what you want miniature and you’ll probably find it. If I were two inches tall, I could probably get arrested for my Google searches. Like I said, there’s always a note. The note in this one is to the right of the sofa, and there’s always money hidden somewhere. I won’t tell you where the money is, so you’ll have to look and see and there’s always a pet.

Because this installation is called “I’m Game” with the obvious play on that wild animals are game, there are also board games through out. So in this one he has recently played “Operation” which I thought was kind of funny because it has the red clown nose.

This one I talked about already. It is called “Look Closer” and he’s got these geodes that recur through out the installation and he’s got these which are called “HO” scale miniatures they are for people who make model trains. So there are domestic scenes here, and again the lion could be stalking or protecting


This is called “The Tea Party” and these are two piglets. They are from a farm in the mid west, and they were just born and the mama rolled over on them. So they were not long for this world. Piglets when they are born are not cute roly poly, they are actually quite skinny because they haven’t eaten anything yet. I saved their bacon, meaning the are freeze-dried, they are not traditional taxidermy. All of the piglet is still actually there, the volume of the body has been preserved but all of the moisture has been removed. That’s one of the gruesome things I do on a daily basis. If you notice they both have guns pointed at the other one, sort of like our current tea party.

This guy is called “Cornucopia” with an enya for the “n” because he is sort of a cornucopia and sort of a pinata. He’s got the geode recurring and he’s kind of an adult pinata. He’s got condoms and candy and happy pills and booze spilling out of him.

Pour One Out.jpgThis one on the wall is called pour one out. The frame is actually made by a gentleman in Tacoma,Washington that I found at an estate sale. And he would take animal hides, this one I think a beaver, and trace them and make these frames out of the tracings on wood. They are just sort of weird, and I painted it gold. I found this piece with the boy with the bird in a vintage store here and I added a little gang tattoo on his face because he is pouring one out for his homies because I don’t think the baby birds are excited about the way he is holding the mama bird.

The piece here with the lamp and clock and flowers is called “Little Darling”. This is again a recurring theme of the domestic pets not being super happy about their situation and not nearly as happy as the humans. This is a traditional lamp and she’s holding a little mouse and she’s got baby oil and pampers. She is going to pamper him and he’s holding a pistol. On the flowers there’s actually a real bee and that whole thing is one piece with the dresser and lamp and clock and the flowers and bee.

On the flower next to him is a piece called “Exacta” and exacta is a two horse race. So we’ve got a bunny with his bunny slipper that he is racing against his unbridled buddy and one of the things I wondered when I was splitting open the bunny slipper mouth to sew the bit into it I was wondering if it was taxidermy or not because it was sort of a bunny

This is the Game of Life, again the theme of I’m Game and I’ve altered it. Those of you who feel like it, if you get down next to it you can see that there are figures that have been added to the game of life. There’s a lion kind of over looking everything and there are some people that have gotten out of the cars and are doing some pretty lewd activities.


The center place is called “If you touch me, you’ll hear my voice” and the reason for that is that this bell, which I found on Esty, which is over the front end of the bed says that in Latin. So it is the idea that if you pull on the chain of the bell, you’ll hear its voice, but I also that it was interesting that if we had access to each others dreams we would know each other very intimately very quickly. Somethings that you are not trying to hide and somethings that you are. The painting at the head of the bed is actually a celebration of Venus I believe. But I really liked the way it looked on the bed and if you notice there’s a little green frog that has been collage into there and he is a little daemon, in the traditional daemon sense d-a-e-m-o-n. Who is sort of inciting all of the nonsense and sex and violence that goes on in here and he recurs in a lot of my collages. On the bed are just some vintage stuffed animals, I thought it was kind of funny to have a different kind of stuffed animal. The snake is a cobra and he is the only piece of taxidermy that is not a real animal. He’s what we call a blank, in taxidermy so he is a plastic mold that has been airbrushed to look real. So there is nothing real about him. There are two flying squirrels, flying in and I am not sure if they are going to attack the snake or if they are fleeing from him, but they were a lot of fun to work with.


The deer at the center of the bed is a dik-dik and he’s a male so he has a dik-dik dick. His wings are actual, real bat wings and they are actually that color. Most of us think of bats as being darker almost a black, but there are some South American bats and North American that are almost like a blonde color. I now have a bat in my studio without wings. Maybe I’ll put some blue butterfly wings on him.

This one is called “Fantastic Garlands” and its the suicide of Ophelia. There’s a line, I believe it’s Gertrude when she first sees her, is reporting back that she has seen her in the water and she says like “she was wrapped in fantastic garlands” referring to the flowers that are everywhere around her. So Ophelia has done herself in here and she has lots of pets. The note in this one is hard to see but it’s on the branch of the tree, I’ll give you a hint.

This whole piece right here, other than the two little pieces that are seperate, this whole piece is call “The Narcissist”. So you have the father duck standing on a mirror and kind of looking at the snake on his shoulder and looking at himself in the mirror while beneath him we have an alligator eating the three ducklings that he is supposed to be in charge of. Probably self-explanatory on that one.


I have a recurring motif of “Pinky” and “Blue Boy”. Have any of you been to the Huntington and seen them at the opposite ends. So here they’ve met. We have “Pinky’s” head and “Blue Boy’s” body and we’ve got the daemon frog showing up

The two mice, this is a series I am doing called mice dreams. It’s a little confusing because the canaries are meant to be dead and the mice are meant to be asleep, maybe I need to get a little pump that makes their sides rise and fall or something. The mice are having some pretty crazy dreams and if you notice they are sleeping on pillows that are “Pinky” and “Blue Boy”. Thought it’s been fun to have these three in the room together.

All of these pieces by the way are available separately, in clusters, or all together as a whole room


This one is called “I Never Promised You (rose garden)” that has the reference to “American Beauty”. So the note in this one says “Look Closer” which is the name of the zebra and he has done himself in with garden sheers. Most people don’t know that canaries are very flexible with their little feet so he’s put garden sheers into himself. I’ll let you find the money that’s in there.


This piece is “Agni’s Book”. Agni is the bringer of fire like Prometheus is. He brings fire to the humans. So I imagined this boy as Agni in this dream where these events are coming from his book and he also has some help again from the daemon frog. There’s all kinds of fire and mayhem and the canary has gotten lose finally.

This last piece is called “Colonel Mustard”. I have some repair to do on the chandelier. It lights up but not tonight. So colonel mustard, in the library with the candlestick and again he has done it himself with his little foot. He has a gold fish, you can find the money and he has left a note which is over to the back left of the cage and it is written to Mrs. Peacock, who is flamboyantly out of his league.








Catherine Coan: Artist Talk

Artist Statement: Catherine Coan

“I’m Game”

Catherine Coan is an artist, hybrid taxidermist, writer, and professor living in Los Angeles. She was a judge on the AMC TV series Immortalized.

Her hybrid mammals explore the intersections between nature and humanity.  In “I’m Game,” imaginary creatures perch on human furniture in domestic spaces, asking the viewer to engage with the animal inside. Surprising details and a sense of humor which is at once dark and life-affirming invite guests to linger, becoming part of each tableau.

Mice Dream, Pinky

The Canary Suicides are meditations on captivity, miniature embodiment, the pet as fetish, and the relationship between death and delight.  They are influenced by the medieval reliquary; the work of mice who’ve made tiny, perfect replicas of some of Rauschenberg and Kienholz’s most well-known assemblages; and Coan’s mother and grandmother, who bred and kept many healthy, self-actualized canaries trained in calligraphy, origami, algebra, and bridge.  Each Canary Suicide contains hidden money, a suicide note, and a pet owned by the resident canary, along with unique surprises.

I Never Promised You (rose garden)


Artist Statement: Catherine Coan

Outside In II: Artist Statement


Outside in II is a continuation of my desire to explore the past and present through the perspective of an immigrant. In addition, with the proliferation of technology, I want to help my audience to be able to take a step back and appreciate their analog surroundings. Lastly, I hope my art help spread happiness.
It is an extension of the previous show. in addition, i want to capture different facets of life.
whether it be nature, city life, or architecture, i want my art to remind the audience the expanse of our world.
we live in a time where we have the ability to digitally connect with anyone in the world. however,
it feels like it is getting lonelier. i hope my work remind the audience of the richness of our surrounding regardless or place and time.
Outside In II: Artist Statement

Phil Kho “Outside In” Revisited

The last time we exhibited Phil Kho’s mixed media works at the Lois Lambert Gallery was back in July 2014. As we welcome him back to the gallery for the continuation of this theme with “Outside In II”, we thought we would take a look back at the incredible beginnings of this insightful concept


The Lois Lambert Gallery presents “Outside In,” the work of Phil Kho. Kho gathers inspiration from the traditional Korean lattice structure, “Chang-sal” as a means of connecting the old and the new. In a constantly changing world, replete with perpetual technological advancement, Kho wishes to emphasize the human longing to connect with history and culture.

Working in mixed media, he melds digital and

analog approaches to create one-of-a-kind window paintings. His process begins by 5.jpgconstructing the window itself out of wood and interjecting digital images on canvas, which he then paints over. This multi-layered technique lends itself to Phil’s greater message of embracing past, present and future.

A second theme found in Kho’s work deals with environment and surroundings. The literal representation of a window calls attention to the outdoors and nature. Through the window form, Phil emphasizes openness of mind; and with a rich color palette, he highlights the boldness of city and landscapes.

In this collection, Kho’s windows play with perception and illusion, evoking a sense of dimension and depth. With his juxtaposition of analog and digital media, Phil underscores the duality within culture and calls the viewer to reexamine his or her environment.


If you missed the show last time, now is your chance to see his new work and appreciate just how much the concept has evolved. The work will be on display until September 4th.

Phil Kho “Outside In” Revisited

An Artist’s Work: Amy Hill

A gallery walk through with artist Amy Hill as she discusses her work piece-by-piece and her inspiration with Lois Lambert and Assistant Director, Maria Guerrero.


Maria: So you mean the original that you referenced?

Yes all of these reference a particular thing, each one. The artist referenced on this one is an unknown artist and he was originally holding … something that was heart shaped, I can’t remember what it was, like a card or something but I replaced it with a telephone or really a tablet, I think its too big to be a telephone.


Maria: Do you ever look into that particular painting’s history, the towns it was made in or any other kind of information, does that ever influence you?

Yes. There are symbols that were uses doves and lilies were the biggest symbols they used… it was always something that indicated what they did for a living. So that one I mean actually if you google renaissance painting, you could find the original.

What is the building behind this one?

It’s supposed to be a library or something but you know I just updated the original building from the original painting. It looked like a library to me. But the library doesn’t really have to do with the tablet.

It doesn’t have to.

Maria: Does it usually?


It’s just about where the person happens to be?

Yeah, and there were columns, now a days we don’t really have columns, but I think that libraries do and I like libraries.


Lois: And why the Betty Boop?

Betty Boop because my sweater had something on it, because she is a current phenomenon that people wear, you know logos instead of ruffles. And jewelry, we don’t have a lot. We wear GAP clothing and sometimes on the GAP clothing is a little logo, its frustrating because we don’t have that anymore.

This woman was holding the bible, and I put a more contemporary book. My neighbor posed for me and she was wearing a Tweetie Bird jacket and the head was taken from the original head.


Lois: Whats LA29?

That was on the original jacket

What contemporary book did you reference?

No particular book. Oh no it is the bible, You know when I was painting I was listening to the bible, an audio version of the bible and I got really into the bible.

Lois: How do you get that so small? (the print painted on the book)

You know what my eye sight is pretty bad right because of all my painting.

Maria:  All the details?

I mean these are not the glasses I wear, I wear two glasses at one time. I put them on top of each other!

Maria: Is this a specific location, the shop front?

No, it isn’t

Maria: But there is a reference to an espresso here…

Yeah, I think there may have been stores in the back.


Again, the original had a necklace but this is Michael Kohrs, and I hate to say it but people buy paintings with cats in them.

This is from a different painting totally by Han Memling, if you know him, but this is not a Memling character, it was taken from another painting, but this is the original jacket, I just liked it so much that I copied it even though its not really… and in the original she was wearing a striped shirt like that which I thought looked very contemporary. That’s what really appeals to me about these paintings, is seeing what contemporary  clothing we still have.

Which is funny because this starts to look like a vintage jacket, very contemporary for us to do…


I did that in one other painting, like this is a black jean jacket and I had a friend…I went over to her apartment and I said, just, you know pose for me with something, she picked up her camera and I loved the way the hands were, so I did it.  This is made up. There’s an original Memling painting, again Memling is the main source, the Memling painting had building but they weren’t contemporary buildings. I just took buildings and made them look contemporary.

But its funny because I can easily say, oh, that looks like I’m off the freeway in Irvine, or something like that here in California. Like its a very similar landscape.


That’s funny, I never even thought of doing that. Again this is the original sleeve, but this is a denim, I mean down vest that somebody posed for me, and again the buildings are more like apartment buildings. And her hair is exactly the same. I gave her a headband. And the face is the same.

She was looking down and I opened her eyes. One thing you can say about these paintings is that they never looked at the audience. They were always kind of looking inward, towards God. Toward him, like a prayer because they were all religious icons.

Because their gaze isn’t directly at you it is almost like they’re spacing out.


Right, but I like, he is wearing a walk man, so they are thinking about whats in the music. This again, my same friend, she had some pills so I had her pose with pills and there was like a tree here, and I turned it into McDonalds. And there was a church here and I just updated the church a little bit.


This one again a denim jacket because I think they are very decorative and metropolitan pin and do you recognize David Bowie and the hills are similar to the other hills.


This one was a nun and I love the background but I put more modern buildings, and I went to this punk celebration where I took pictures of punky people, this is what one of the girls was wearing with all this..[pointing at the pins]she had sex pistols and archie comics and this was when obama was running for president.

But the hair you changed…

Definitely, she had a nun thing on and one thing about the renaissance is that they were bad at ears, like there’s hardly any ears in the whole renaissance. So you know, it was like covering the ears so I had to work on people’s ears a lot.


This is almost exactly the head, I put him in a Ramones T-shirt, and then I put buildings in the background.


This is like Icebreakers chewing gum, I just like the logo, the graphic, she has updated buildings and updated earrings and her hair is different but the face is almost the same.


This is a Memling face with a new hair-do. I have models come over sometimes with hair. She was working at a store near me and I liked her look, so I invited her over and she had this kind of hair and this is a flash-drive that I had lying around. I was so mad that I had lost all the information on it. It died but I still had it lying around.

Like a commemoration…

Yeah. This is suburbia, I like suburbia, as an updated landscape.

This one I went to Macy’s to find clothing and you can return at Macy’s. So I bought this Ed Hardy thing and I just had some one pose in it and then I returned it. Because I love Ed Hardy. Even though hes not trendy now..

Hollister is so boring…Everything is boring now

This is from the original painting and I don’t remember the name of the artist. And I drew in punky jewelry I add jewelry to everything And this is the east village were in the east village. Yeah I took this from google i mages.SHE NOT LOOKING AT THE CAMERA THISis more of the inner gaze.

THIS ONE I LOVE LOGOS. so I looked up what had the most logos and it was the NASCAR jackets and she had to be holding something contemporary.

You gave hera achase ard!…

So I gave her a chase card and she has an ear. She is also looking off into space. n

This was a prist and he had a priest head. THi sione is my bfs hair when it was shorter. This is a great ful dead t shirt. He was holding a flower originally [in the origianl painitng] and I kept because I felt like a hipie would be holding a flower.

These are anti-deppressents…Red Hot Chillie Peppers… and this is suberbia and this is not a Memling its some other  artist that I really liked. this is a jacket that I own

And this is the gaze up as well but because shes listening to her music and this might be east vilalge in new york

I dont know do you hava nay questions

Yeah? One is how do you feel how these as a collection start to comment on popular culture?

Well its about materialism…I guess. Advertising with the use of the logos. Its about time travel. Its an anthropological study because I would love to go back in time and see if peaople look the same and are ther similarities? And alot of people think they are contemproary peaopl.

But theyre not theyre made up…theyr e like puzzle piees…

Rgiht but a ew  of the faces are from that era and yet kyou caould down  the street and spot someone like that.

Completely. The fact that use this bottle of anti-depressants or the bottle of Nature’s Made vitamins.It s a commentary on what we do. but it also makes up an idenotity. Like this is gilr interrupted, with her anti-depressants and her hoodie sweater and her Red Hot Chillie Pepper shirt.

But I leave that to the viewer I dont want to dictate anything so you know  I dont hink of that very often.

I think thats interdrting and the way tyou said it is best that its more of an anthropological observation on your part.

Right. That’s the fun part of it. And just putting it al ltogether and seeing what happens. Not all of them are successful…

It’s definitely not done in a vacuum and because it is valid data that you collect from your observations there are conclusions that we can draw from it for sure..

But there is also the aesthetics. I’m very concerned about how things look together. I use my computer a lot to re-adjust and play around. I want them to be pretty, too.

Well I remember when we spoke over the phone you spoke about how a lot of the draw to the t shirts and even people  who specifically where more from an alternative  subculture, because their clothing was just more interesting to paint. It was almost like a formal decision like “I just want to paint these figures”. 

Right. Right. Exactly. That’s why I hate trends now. There is nothing exciting now. I dont wanto paint sweatshirts.

What will happen to your art if everyone is minimalistic clothing. What will happen to your art.

I’ve also done gothic people that was great and theyre not from the mainstream. Well you know even your shirt, I could paint that. Thre are still things thatwe wear today that I do love.

Great. Well thank you Amy.

Well good thank you.

An Artist’s Work: Amy Hill

The work of Amy Hill


Amy Hill’s artist statement reveals the concepts and motivations behind this New York based painter’s engaging works.


“My paintings are updates of works from earlier eras. I choose these eras because of my stylistic kinship with their artists, which allows me to carry on a kind of dialogue with them. Each era brings up a particular theme that I trace to the present day. I have chosen portraiture as it is a genre that runs through art history and allows me through poses, gestures and fashion detail to make social, psychological and anthropological statements about my subjects. Humor emerges through the juxtaposition of modern day fashion and historical figures.


In my Biker paintings I relate the fanciful dress and dramatic lighting of Rembrandtesque images to present day bikers and heavy metal musicians with their long hair, tattoos and ornate clothing.In addressing Renaissance works, because many of the figures from this era are depicted in poses of prayer or worship, I paint my subjects worshipping secular things such as digital devicThe folk artists were predominantly concerned with family and children. The children are often depicted as innocents holding cuddly animals in bucolic settings. In updating these paintings I show urban children influenced by such phenomena as branding, drugs and materialism.



The work of Amy Hill