Discover more from Warm Hughes Quarterly
Year's End 2022
Walking lightly into a New Year
Hi again - time sure does fly by, doesn’t it?
I’ve been incubating this newsletter through end of summer, then fall, now winter. The last leaves have fallen, and the layering of clothing has begun. With all the rushing thats happening around me I’ve found balance by making more time for observing and sensing what’s around.
How are you all feeling? Ready for a new year?
Before diving in; here’s a breakdown of what you’ll see:
there’s a visual recap of family time out west this summer
my “deck of prints” from Home for Now in a group exhibition
new ways of sharing this work through pairings
a few memorable commissions of the last few months
a story of my daughter’s name
and finally, a little poetic postcard with words from Aldous Huxley.
I spent a lot of time on the West Coast in 2022 - LA, SF, and Oregon more specifically. Now I’m prepping for a few months of hibernation…and more regular updating.
Between my creative practice, making plans, and family time - resting this holiday season has a nice ring to it! This newsletter is intended for that down time to read, reflect, and rejoice. Forgive me though, it might feel disjointed, but it wasn’t for lack of trying; I just needed to press the send button 🙃
Whatever season this finds you in, I hope you are well and not too rushed in the final stretch of the year. Here are some Warm Tunes for your listening ears.
Thank you again for lending your attention to a practice that continues to sustain me.
Peace and Love this holiday season ~
Summer, Family & the West Coast
Home For Now at Spring Break NYC
In September this body of work was shown at Spring Break NYC in a booth curated by Milly Cai, Gemma Cirignano, and Madi Shenk from Irradicant alongside other artists. The work was displayed in a “deck of prints” format; card sized prints that I first created to edit the work years ago. Pairing and playing outside the computer helped me connect with the work more frequently, show others in more casual situations, and reveal in a much deeper sense what it was that I was communicating through it all.
“Heterotopic Home” at Spring Break NYC
If you’ve followed this work previously, you’re probably familiar with the series. So what is it about? On the surface: it’s a visual narrative of people and the spaces they wait in. There’s something very timeless and almost dream like in this place. The polarized combination of New York’s tireless motion and the languid passage across the harbor - reveal more than observations time and culture. It also presents for me a deep rooted search for a quiet, undisturbed world that has soothed me in the past. For a few years, living in New York City agitated me on so many levels, but because of timing (having children/housing/etc) I poured a lot of that energy into this project, finding new reasons for connecting and belonging.
Since 2016 I’ve been going back and forth morning to night, day to day, through seasons. The work created there has become a source of both challenge and inspiration that has also helped propel me forward.
“Heterotopic Home” reconstructs the living and dining room of an all too familiar prefab rental apartment, devoid of character and decorated by Ikea. The gallery disrupts our preconceived understandings of an art space versus a living space and becomes a site of daily life. Centered around a dinner party, the exhibition welcomes the unlikely guests of Isolina Alva’s whimsical ceramic sculptures and a collapsed wooden table set with Katie Rauth’s cut “crystal” sugar tableware. A china cabinet displays playful ceramics by Punch, and Kristina Naso’s animation plays on an old iMac. As the viewer enters the gallery, they confront the seemingly closed heterotopia that characterizes our everyday living spaces. Rather than investigating each piece individually–a type of viewing anticipated in a traditional art gallery–the viewer lives with the art.
After my first public showing of the work, I’ve begun posting pairings of images once a week on my Instagram as a way of holding more dialogue around it. I’ll be using this newsletter to publish the pairings in the future in case Instagram doesn’t serve your scrolling habits best :P
Together and alone, all at once. Vulnerability emerges most often when the environment sets the right tone. I’ve always been especially sensitive to that, seeking to reveal more of this special mechanism through this body of work. I love that the camera then becomes an instrument of framing to reveal a tension that’s already there, bringing to light the hidden experience that exists not here nor there, but everywhere in between.
This wasn’t drawn at random.
I created this pairing because of its plainness and its passivity in the face of headlines that are meant to grab attention. Really, I’ve more often felt this confused, to know my place and to have something to say. Some days I know who I am, others I need to discover it somehow. Today, because of my confusion, I’m being direct with this theme - lurking under it are more questions than opinions.
In a way not much has changed in politics, while culturally we’re in overdrive. I resonate with the person in this photograph, a bystander to the endless deluge of data, opinions, apps, traffic, etc.
After years on this boat, there’s still much to photograph. The external environment continues to change and the token reminders - like a newspaper headline - are the only means of placing when this image might have been captured. I appreciate the timelessness, that predictability, if you will. That monotony that I love, then too, is a chaos of its own 🌀
Since curating my work has been the theme of 2022 this also needed to be reflected in my portfolio. After creating the Fluid Feeling theme in the Spring, I realized I wanted to be able to do that more frequently, which led me to creating a new category: Discover
Essentially, it’s utilizing metadata and search functionalities to ‘discover’ more themes or photography. It’s still very much in its infancy with a few bugs and things that don’t work exactly how I’d like, but I’m excited to tinker. Thanks to my new collaborator Vinicius for hooking this up and pushing against the limits of a template site.
Agency: Ntropic / Client: Amazon CX
In the annual American Design issue “What Will The Neighbors Think?”
Commissioned by Alex Casto
Amazon - Fire TV
Agency & Producer: Industrial Color
Our first-born’s name is Ren which we derived from my wife’s mother’s name. When we were looking into the meanings of the character 仁 the one that stood out to us explained it as “the good feeling as a result of altruist values”. This version of Ren comes from Confucius times; it is composed of two radicals, both male and female, which can be interpreted as ‘human’. At the time it resonated with us fundamentally - literally and emotionally. It symbolized balance and described the deeper seated emotions behind what having a child meant to us.
To this day, Ren is a reminder of the lovely, grounding vibrations we can all feel when we’re connected to ourselves and this world, actively sharing and interacting from a space that is purely intuitive.
This is feeling over time has become a powerful driver in my identity that I hope to convey through my work, this newsletter, and the time I share with others.
Also, there’s a place that characterizes this space so perfectly: The Boiling River in Yellowstone National Park.
The convergence of hot spring waterfalls into a glacial mountain stream is the perfect metaphor for the specialness of existing in the in-between, finding connection with the earth and myself. These places can exist almost anywhere, where in the world comes to mind for you?
It’s dark because you are trying too hard.
Lightly child, lightly… Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.
Throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly, on tiptoes and no luggage,
The sun is setting as I press send. the lower, longer daylight and cooler temps are welcome with the year ending in 13 days. Until that time - I bid you a peaceful journey through the bulk into what hopes to be a lighter and also eerily similar experience.
Let me know if you have any feedback, questions, ideas, dreams, etc. As always, I’m honored to be in your thoughts. There are so many places you can spend your attention, and I’m touched that you spent it reading this letter.
If you’d like to connect with me over the holiday, I’ll have times available for studio e-visitation here.
A Poetic Image & Creative Services Company
Copyright (C) WARM HUGHES INC 2022. All rights reserved.