I don’t think it’s fair to call Logan Hicks a street artist. It’s too confining for the man who spends hours cutting paper into fine details or risks his life climbing skyscrapers to get a photograph that no one else can capture. I don’t know. That’s just my take on it. Labels confuse me anyways, because I recognize artists based on their own achievements and not their achievements when compared to others. And quite simply, Logan Hicks can’t be compared to others, because no one does what he does in the way that he does it. No one takes stencils to their breaking point or unplugs themselves from the Internet to create a body of work or puts up with my questions like Logan Hicks. And that’s simply because Logan Hicks is an artist: a true artist.
His solo show, "Love Never Saved Anything," opens on March 7th (through March 19th) with PMM Art Projects in a pop-up exhibition at 154 Stanton Street, New York.
Daniel Rolnik: Why is your show named "Love Never Saved Anything"?
Logan Hicks: The show title grew out of a conversation that I had with a friend last year. I was going through a particularly turbulent time. Everything that could go wrong, did. Relationships, finances, creative inspiration, career trajectory, etc. I was concerned that everything I had been working towards was in jeopardy. I was explaining all this to my friend who replied "at least you're doing something you love" to which I replied "yeah, but love never saved anything." Considering the time it seemed like a fitting title for the show
DR: The press release mentions hardships you faced this year, can you be specific about them? If you choose not to be, why do you choose not to be?
LH: Specifics aren't important. I was going through the same hardships that every person on earth goes through in their lives. Every person on this earth has those moments where you question what you're doing with your life, where you're headed and what it all means. The exact impetus for change isn't important, but where and how you direct that change is. For me the work is the physical manifestation of working around the hurdles that were in my way.
DR: Your stencil pieces in the show must take a very long time to create. Is it a gut feeling that you go with to choose an image to make a stencil of, or is it more meditative than that? Please, explain...
LH: It's a mix of both. Some pieces in the show were the result of following a specific idea through to completion (like the depiction of the Poison of Circe from Greek Mythology). For others, it was about a "feel" and shooting until I felt like the image captured that feel. I tend to make work obsessively, so although I may only show twenty pieces, there are probably thirty total. I try to track down each idea and paint it. Some are successful, others aren't. It's the curation of the show that conveys the final idea.
DR: Do you ever get afraid when you're entering a prohibited place for an urban adventure? Did you ever have a fear of doing it that you overcame in some way? Are you alone every time you go to take photos?
LH: Of course I get afraid. You'd have to be stupid not to be scared. The second you don't think about the fact that your life can end is the second you open yourself up to more risk. The only way to overcome fear is to just do it. You consider the risk, you evaluate the potential problems and you figure out if it's worth the risk. For me, it is. I go alone sometimes; other times I go with friends. It just depends on my mood and where I am going.
DR: What do you think you've grown the most at on an introspective level that can't be seen through your art, but which you channel and use to create it?
DR: Out of all the pieces in your show, which has the most personal meaning to you and why?
LH: They're all important to me. If it wasn't I wouldn't make it. It’s sort of like asking what chapter in a book is your favorite. One may be sexier, or more exciting, or more descriptive, but if you take out a chapter, it's no longer a book. I see this show as sort of being the same. it all fits together in some way.
DR: Are you, personally, the figures climbing out of the water, halfway in, or fully surfaced on land? Or, are you completely separated from the figures in your paintings?
LH: I don’t see it as being a literal depiction of a person really. Each piece has different significance. For some it's simply illustrating a legend or story. For others, it's more of a loose feeling that is being depicted. The majority of the figures in my pieces are female, so I'd say that it's safe to say that I see the subjects in my paintings as a response to someone else, not a literal depiction of me.
DR: In the world of Facebook and Twitter the art fan has emerged: they're not people who collect art yet, they just love to follow everything their favorite artists are doing. Thankfully, artists like you offer their fans a glimpse into their worlds of adventure. Will you have any pieces catered towards your art fans in this upcoming show? And how do you balance being both a creator of art and a marketer of it? Does it frustrate you that you can't just be in your studio all day isolated from the Internet?
LH: I can be isolated in my studio away from the Internet. I actually have all my web browsers stored on a removable thumb drive, so when I'm in a work binge, I take the thumb drive home so that I can't browse the Internet. I have a shitty phone, which makes it painful to wait for websites to load in. That compounded with my sausage fingers means that I can insulate myself from the online world pretty well when I need too.
For art fans, I don't have any pieces that cater towards them in particular because I just like to make work without having to take other people into consideration. How it's presented afterwards is a different story though. So I will have books and prints that are affordable to anybody. For me, anytime someone looks at my work and enjoys what I do, I'm flattered. I can remember the days in high school sitting in my room all night drawing just wishing people would take notice of what I was doing. So when I fast forward to now and remember those days I’m always extremely appreciative that the work I make resonates with someone on any level. I would like to think that the prints and books I do are a way to merge that gap between appreciation of art, and buying an original piece of art.
DR: What are three places that you haven't yet explored, but you wish to venture to in the near future?
LH: 1. Any place I haven't been to
DR: When the show is over and all the work is sold, do you take a break or do you immediately start working on the next one?
LH: I love what I do, so is it really ever work? I might eat a hot meal or two, but I'll still be working. I don't relax well.
(All images: Courtesy of the artist)