In the Studio: Kristin Hough in collaboration with colleagues

Note: Much of my practice includes pulling source material from the public. The paintings shown in this exhibition originate as screen-captures of nature based reality tv programs and include transcriptions of dialog from contestants. So, as part of a larger interest in crowd sourced content and collective authorship, I’ve asked fellow artists to answer these questions for / as me.
 
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are today.
Life is getting things done. I set arbitrary untimed mental time-limits for myself to get things done — one of which is this: two minutes to complete the answer to this question. This has gotten me to where I am today. -OP
 
2. Can you speak to your creative process for “Microcosmic gods” – featured in this exhibition?
Microcosmic Gods is an exploration of the imagery, emotion and aesthetic of reality TV through paintings of stills from various survivor shows.  When creating art I am continually interested in intertwining the real and the fake and blending these ideas to show that they are often one in the same.  My process centered around taking time to watch and snapshot scenes that further the idea that a reality show is itself a microcosm of life – saturated with drama, emotion, and intensity, though still contrived and altered. -SH
 
3. What is the role of the artist in society?
What are any of our “roles”, really? I think that an artist in society has the opportunity to connect or bring awareness to the gaps between perception and reality. That said, everyone has this potential, although artists tend to have more urgency with demonstrating the gap. 
 
or….for a gruff alternative:
 
“opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one” lol -AB
 
4. Where do you feel art is going?

A lot of times when you face adversity, and you feel that you’re at your weakest point, the best thing you can do is bond together and strengthen as a unit. We can’t afford for people not to get along. Hope factors in a huge amount for your existence here. Mentally you need to feel comfortable where you are. Symbolically, [art] is just showing that there’s another level of our relationship with each other.

Every now and then you get a glimpse of closure, and you get a glimpse of the impact, and you get a glimpse of how significant it is that we’ve gotten this far. You can’t help but think about what’s around the corner. Let’s, you know, start something new. We are now addicted. It’s so good. We wake up in the morning, we make [art]. After we eat breakfast, in the afternoon, we make [art]. At night, we make [art]. It makes you feel as if the world doesn’t really stop without you–it keeps going. That’s what’s good about [art]: you never know what’s going to happen. And at first I didn’t get the big picture, but when you stop and think about it for a while you realize that you’ve been given a lot.

Strategies are starting to develop more and go in different directions, and the more we learn about each other the more you start to second guess what you’ve done. Definitely [art] is changing, and maybe for the better. Maybe for the worse. I don’t know. I certainly don’t think this answers everything. We’ve still got to catch the fish. -NR

 
5. How has your work been influenced by your fellow exhibiting artists, if at all?
The way that my fellow exhibitors work has influenced me is that it helped me realize that I explore landscape with color and texture. -SB
 
6. What advice have you been given that has influenced you the most?
Once when I was a little girl I biked to the pond to feed the geese with Aunt Zeeta. Zeeta had recently pawned off those God-awful velvet socks she had the audacity to wear any time she supposed her orthodontist pen-pal was “braiding the tulips,” as they say…anyways, it was clear she was flush with breadcrumbs. Zeeta’s charity for those brats was unabashed; we all knew the Nivea Street geese were spoiled rotten, and by whom.  

We circled the water, slowly, careful not to trip over the scatterings of Chuck-E-Cheese tokens and quantum charcuterie, no doubt the aftermath of a Nivea Street Weasels meeting grown rowdy.
 
I caught the attention of the friend mostly covered in dark feathers—“Soot,” as my aunt called him—and flashed my baggie of sourdough particles. He inched my way, and the sight of his midmorning snack began to register. 
Soot—never before one to cause a riot—flapped out of the pond like a maniac, seized by a divine vision. Like an amuse-bouche from a irritable pair of hedge clippers, this goose pecked my forehead, its full weight heaving into my body. I went toppling backwards into the grass. Zeeta was no use, absorbed in her Walkman, entranced by an errant horsefly. 
Soot waddled over to me, solemn, and I swear to Jeremy that goose looked me straight in the eye. “Kristin, honey” he said, “You ever find yourself running outta gas on that stretch of interstate in Arizona with no stations for a hundred miles? Well, you should turn off the AC in your car, roll the windows up and slow down to fifty-five miles per hour. That’s right, fifty-five miles per hour gets you optimal gas milage. Sure, people are passing you right and left, but you gotta resist the temptation to speed up. Fifty-five is that golden number. Any faster and you’re burning too hot.”
 
I’ll never forget that bird. -LL
 
7. Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about? Or perhaps what’s next for you?
I am working on a series of paintings of scenes from the 2001 Fox series Temptation Island. The paintings will reflect the deep-seated urges that are evoked when humans are returned to a primal setting. -KI
View more of Kristin’s work here.

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