Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Meet 2014 Guest John Hitchcock

John Hitchcock’s works are a blend of printmaking, digital imaging, video, and installation that depict personal, social, and political views. His artwork is deeply informed by his personal biography and family history. He grew up in western Oklahoma on Comanche tribal lands that are located next to Fort Sill. Fort Sill was originally established in 1869 to wage battles against American Indians, who, seeing their way of life threatened by the onslaught of western-moving settlers, launched raids against the ongoing encroachment. Hitchcock’s mother is of Comanche and Kiowa ancestry, a descendant of the indigenous Plains tribes affected by the federal government’s systematic policy of forced removal and relocation. The artist’s parents met when his father served at Fort Sill during the Korean War; the couple eventually settled in the proximally-located tribal territory. Raised in this area, Hitchcock was exposed to the frequent Vietnam War-era training activities at the base, which—in addition to his ancestral heritage of cultural genocide—sensitized him to an American culture of violence and military action.

Hitchcock’s current artwork consists of mythological hybrid creatures (buffalo, wolf, boar, deer, moose) and military weaponry based on his childhood memories and stories of growing up in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma next to Fort Sill. He explores notions of good, evil, death, and life cycles. His depictions of beasts, animals, and machines act as a metaphors for human behavior and cycles of violence. His artwork is a response to intrusive behavior by humans towards nature and other humans.

No comments: