Patrick Earl Hammie is an American artist, born in New Haven, Connecticut, best known for his monumental portraits. More recently he has expanded his practice to include representations of women, proposing fresh ways of visualizing both bodies to remake what the nude does and how it produces meaning. Patrick is represented by Yeelen Gallery in Miami and Kruger Gallery in Chicago. Explore more here and here.
Patrick was kind enough to share his thoughts over a nano-interview. Enjoy.
What are you doing this fine day?
-I’m delving into a new project, enjoying the new and unknown, and reflecting on Inheritance, my recent solo show at Kruger Gallery in Chicago. Inheritance featured works from my series Significant Other, a series that thinks through and reorients historical representations of women and people of color in Art, and our inherited expectations of those bodies. The painted gestures function as visual metaphors for dying, and agency towards shifting traditional power paradigms. My current work picks up conceptually from there, exploring ideas related to birth, stasis, and legacy. Today, I’m working on a painting titled Midwife. I’m drawn to the subject of midwifery, in part, because of it’s relevance to feminist discourse and how it stands as a direct counterpoint to the patriarchal hospital network; it’s amazing that it’s currently illegal to practice as a direct-entry midwife in 23 American states.
What would you change in the art world?
-The art world has a myriad of fiscal, cultural, and critical challenges it’s navigating. It’s necessary for individuals and groups that advance our understanding of history, social constructions, and equity to keep pressure on the industry to be self-reflective and adaptive. For long lasting fundamental change in these systems to be realized though, it needs to be nurtured in our children’s primary educational networks. Children are growing up emulating actors, musicians, and other public figures who are behaving more and more like Renaissance artists, engaging in multiple creative platforms. This, coupled with record numbers of students enrolling in some form of art school, moving into art and non-art professions using the creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills learned therein, are influencing their marketplaces and families. We need to publicly recognize this trend and shift policies from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education models.
What do you want to be remembered as?
-I’d like to be remembered as an artist who engaged with the history of painting and dedicated his career to the figurative tradition; as a person who investigated the pictorial, technical, and narrative practices of Western art to produce portraits that disturbed the existing canon and examined critical aspects of gender and race of his day.