Kevin Hoth Interview - The Hopper Prize

Kevin Hoth

Kevin Hoth on opening a museum show, the containment space of photography, & finding inspiration in recent travels.

How did you get into making art?

I came out of the womb drawing! Seriously though, I think I was always making things, drawing and painting a lot as small person. My teachers probably encouraged me in those areas since I had good hand eye coordination. They probably also noticed my synapses were wired in odd ways, hence: artist.

What are you currently working on?

I have a museum show that just opened at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s all instant film assemblage. As for newly developing work, I was in Europe over the summer for an experimental photo festival and became obsessed with the abstract remnants of posters and signage in big cities. I live in a pretty rural area of colorado so I don’t regularly see these things. The residuum (fancy word which I’m probably going to use for the title of the project) is abstract, has traces of the hand and, like photography, holds memory in it. The rectangles also reference the containment space of photography so I like these meta-layers.

The residuum is abstract, has traces of the hand and, like photography, holds memory in it.

Kevin Hoth

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

My recent travels in France and Spain and just doing a lot of walking everyday through Paris, Barcelona, Biarritz, San Sebastion, etc. I am a really fast walker and I enjoyed floating through streets and parks like a hyper-observational ghost. I shot the images of this residuum really fast with my phone and then would keep walking back into the pedestrian stream.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

There are certainly connections some have made among projects I see as distinct. That is always fun for me – to see how others connect the dots. I tend to get bored with one project so I am usually doing multiple projects or approaches at one time. I am mostly into experimental photographic approaches, but sometimes I will shoot straight photos for my own personal pleasure. “Oh pretty light on the mountain!” These will sometimes turn into a serious project. I did a collaborative project with a Norwegian friend and he does more straight photography. We were sending images and tweet-length captions back and forth over the pandemic and this was quite hard for me–creating and responding in an almost photojournalistic way. I don’t naturally cover the world this way but it was a nice challenge.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

I have a day job as a university lecturer and am a single parent so studio time is pretty rare at the moment, especially with classes back in session. I have more time during the summer months. However, I am always making pictures with my phone and these have turned into more serious projects, as mentioned. I also have several cameras on hand all the time so if I need a break from grading I will grab a camera and walk around my neighborhood, which is nestled right up against the mountains. I generally use show deadlines to force me to set aside time to make work. I was really prolific in 2019, 2020, and part of 2021 so I am coasting on that energy a bit. My home is basically my studio as is the outdoors around where I live. If it’s a weekend when I can do more artwork. I will put on NPR and futz around with some larger collages or make some quick drawings or paintings with my daughter. My ideal situation would be to have a studio in a larger space that has a woodshop, darkroom, ceramics, and digital lab in one and I would just float around. Another part of “studio time” is time in my home office working on the computer: editing statements, images, my website, etc. Submitting for shows and such.

Who are your favorite artists?

I generally like the renegades of recent art history because they inspire me to go with my most wild and challenging ideas: Chris Burden, Joseph Beuys, Erwin Wurm, Francis Alys, Cindy Sherman, John Cage, Rauschenberg. I also have a lot of very alive photo friends who are making exceptional work and they are too many to name.

Alpinia 01 2019 15" width x 25" height Instant film collage $1250

Where do you go to discover new artists?

I look on instagram primarily even if it is becoming an annoying space. I also love Humble Arts Foundation and Lenscratch because they are so well curated with photography that is innovative and challenging.

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