Brooks Institute, 2010, MFA
The Best Art Ever! - Statement
The Best Art Ever! is a political art project that takes aim at the absurdiy of the Trump presidency while attempting to bring serious attention to the danger of his "Toxic Orange Agenda" (defined here) which lies beneath the reality show dramatics that bewilder and distract. By removing myself from the financial benefit of any sales, I aim to raise millions for resistance organizations that are on the front lines of the fight against this toxic agenda. The buyer will make a tax deductible donation directly to a non-profit 501c3 resistance organization that we mutually agree on (I have a curated list of suggested organizations on my website) and I will donate the artwork to the donor.
The showpiece titled The Best Art! I Guarantee It! appropriates Trump's language and reconfigures it applied to art to reflect on the utter absurdity of his message. The smaller pieces are factual phrases and words he frequently uses.
The artwork is Trumpian in their pricing. The showpiece asks for a donation of $1,000,000 and the smaller works $10,000 each. These prices aim to attract major donors, but the project also takes a page from the Bernie book and offers low cost print products such as posters, coffee mugs and T-shirts and reproduction prints that anyone can afford. Half of these sales will be donated to organizations from the curated list that the buyer selects at checkout. The purpose of this project is to raise millions of dollars for the organizations that are staffed with the expertise to fight the breadth of the toxic orange agenda that lurks beneath the antics.
If you like art and dislike the Toxic Orange Agenda please visit my website: https://www.solhill.com/the-best-art-ever to learn more and participate.
Metagraphs - Statement
I intentionally subvert the visual photographic record with artifacts that are endemic to digital imaging in order to reveal energies we normally do not see. We live in an energetic universe and are constantly in relationship with different forms of energy that affect us, but we don't realize it. We think we know because we see, but we really only see what we already know. Enduring truth is found not in its outward appearance, but within the relationship and coherence of energies connected both within and with those that surround us.
I call my work both Energy Paintings because it is a hybrid process, simultaneously photography and painting and yet neither, and Metagraphs because the artifacts I work with are records of energies inclusive of and beyond those of visible light. My work creates a fusion of the aesthetics and visual concerns of a painting with the technology, the aura of truth in the visual record and the time continuum dilemmas of (photo)graphy. The artifacts I work with, commonly called digital noise, are created on a digital sensor by the influence of energies other than light. These artifacts are both records of technological processes as well as that of “cosmic noise,” the energy signatures that pervade the cosmos, our planet, our built environment and our bodies. Thus the images transform themselves into a kind of hyper-vision showing aspects of reality we do not normally see, both metaphorically and literally. These records of unseen energies hint at the expansive nature of reality and the limitations of our capacity to perceive it.
My pieces are constructed from archival prints of digital photos on Japanese paper and/or photo transfers onto canvas or painter’s boards. Acrylic and varnishes are applied to the pieces to develop both surface texture and gesture in order to accentuate the ambiguity of the medium(s). I create a singular large artwork as well as a small edition series from each image. I take pleasure in uncertainty, for it offers room for discovery. I aim to stimulate wonder both about my process, my medium and their interpretation.
I have been in one way or another surrounded by the arts my whole life. My parents were artists and opened the first contemporary art gallery in Santa Fe, NM. My early memories were of my parents in their studios and of Hill’s Gallery. The mysterious objects that pervaded the gallery intrigued me. Looking at those artworks felt like observing some secret alchemical language that I wanted to learn.
In college I studied International Affairs and German Studies at Lewis & Clark trying to “do something practical” as my parents wished. Afterward I built earthen and straw bale homes before co-founding Zen Stone Lighting, a lighting design company, with my wife, a former paper artist from Brazil.
After an intense medical crisis, I dedicated myself to pursuing art full time. I earned an MFA in Photographic Arts at Brooks Institute and have been working full time as an artist since 2010 still seeking to decipher that alchemical language, or at least to invent my own.
My artistic practice is divided between working with contemporary digital imaging technology to create what I call Metagraphs, a mixed media hybrid blending the use of artifacts, generated by digital photographic technology's recording of energies other than light, with the aesthetic valuation of painting and by using art as a form of social activism through creating hard hitting social justice art installations with strong presence.