Idea-machine William Hundley bowled us over last year with his pictures of things on top of cheeseburgers and floating ‘Entopic Phenomena’, so when I heard about his new show I was expecting weird and wonderful photographs, but I was wrong. Instead, William’s put together a show of Tribal collages and installations, and for that very reason I had to find out exactly what was going on and chat to the man himself. The show runs until the start of March at the magnificent Domy Books, if you happen to be passing through Austin.
Hey William, so you have a new show on at Domy in Austin, can you tell us a little about what you’re showing?
I am showing some new work that I have been producing in the last few months. A while ago I picked up a book ,Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa, about some tribes in Africa that paint and decorate their bodies and faces. Like many other artists I’m sure, it was quite an inspiration to me. I started experimenting with various sculptural and collage creations that stemmed from this tribal influence. My fiancee and a I started painting each other’s faces and then photographed the results. I also shot some basic head shots of myself (I hate photos of myself) and printed them out. I then cut out images from magazines and gathered feathers and leaves and started placing them on top of the printed head shots and I would photograph the assemblages. So essentially, the collage work is actually photos of photos with things placed on top of them. The collages were not actually glued together but more assembled, photographed, and then disassembled. I also cut holes in the photos and would put pictures and objects behind the photo that you could see through the cutout hole. It is a very natural way for me to work like this because I have many ideas bouncing around my head and all I have to do is quickly assemble an idea, photograph it and be done with it to move on to the next idea.
I also created a series of masks with nice colored cardboard and a glue gun. I would randomly cut colored liquor boxes into odd geometric shapes and then figure out a way to glue them together to resemble tribal masks that could hang on a wall. It was really fun to put together these puzzles and see how to the mask would turn out. I wasn’t event too sure if the viewer would know that they were masks because there are not obvious eyes and mouths. I enjoy this ambiguous middle ground to allow the viewer come up with any conclusions they want to.
Hang on a minute, I thought you were a photographer?!
My photography is what got my name out there, but I have always worked with all mediums. I truly enjoy making sculpture and doing installation work. Basically, I like it all and could never really see myself just working in just one medium. You can definitely anticipate seeing more sculptural creations from me in the future.
I’ve read that the show has been created with Primal Intent can you elaborate on what that actually means?
Thats just another way of saying that the things I made were with a natural approach. I would gather interesting objects from contemporary culture and use them in a ‘tribal’ way. I did not spend an extensive amount of time creating the works and I just moved forward with all opportunities that presented themselves during my experimentation. I try not to edit myself too much as I work. I like taking a left turn with a piece and not knowing where it might end up. I’m definitely not afraid to make mistakes and I have alway enjoyed putting my creativity to the test in challenging circumstances.
Can we expect more cheeseburgers soon?
Yeah, you can probably expect more cheeseburgers from me. The last few ideas I have come up for the next pieces in the cheeseburgers series are going to require many many cheeseburgers. I guess I just haven’t really had the chance to go get all the cheeseburgers and shoot the ideas. I like to let ideas marinate for a while before I slap them on the grill……