Caroline Hill | Artist Statement
"The Game" Statement
by: Elizabeth Fodde-Reguer
In a new series by Caroline Hill, the artist (born and raised in New Orleans) combines the linear sensibilities of an illustrator with a surrealist strategy to structure the compositions. What began as artistic exercises in her sketchbooks soon became a developed statement in C.Hill’s new body of work. C.Hill chooses a random vinyl scrap leftover from other projects, clears her mind, and envisions a context for the abstract and isolated form of the vinyl piece. She uses her first response to the shape and fashions elaborate, often humorous, narratives to complete the composition. At times, an entire setting is formed at a first glance to the vinyl form, but other times only a section appears in her vision that she then develops. The series is united simultaneously by this common technical approach as well as a visual unity forged by repeated patterns, forms, and color combinations. The vinyl shapes alternatively become the object in question or are used to define the negative space around an object. The subjects of her works are drawn in such a way as to incorporate the flat, slick, abstract color zones of the vinyl by mirroring that category of form within the portrayed scene. That is, faces are not realistically rendered, but are deconstructed to expose flat color planes that mimic the vinyl segment while still remaining completely recognizable objects. This combination of the abstract within the understandable visual narrative is balanced to provide alternative, yet integrated, ways of seeing the works. Each piece is meticulously drawn using a combination of mediums: ink, watercolor, and colored pencil. C.Hill uses many layers of colored pencil to achieve the desired color and flatness. While inspired by other artists, C.Hill finds most of her inspiration in the details of paintings, be it particular lines of Basquiat or specific color combinations of Picasso. This detail oriented way of seeing finds its way into C.Hill’s aesthetic, creating works that appear to be made with some preliminary sketches, but are instead, exercises in spontaneity.