Spirits Rejoice by Kyle Hackett

Spirits Rejoice:

Solo Exhibition Featuring Works

by Kyle Hackett



Manipulating the authority of representational portraiture, my work deconstructs historical ideas of secure identity and fixed-painting techniques through subtexts of the staged, self-aware portrait. I highlight contingencies between self and the constructed image as I attempt to clarify my contemporary concerns about race, class and social standing. Often posing as sitters from precarious nineteenth-and twentieth-century modes of portrayal, my paintings are rooted in the need for empathy and a historical desire for connection and feeling. A related body of work involves “vanitas” still life paintings created from discarded reference photographs of self-portraits that were once ruled out. This work evolved into crumpling printed media that featured reproductions of my staged portrait paintings. I consider how elements of identity are often nested inside each other and meaning can be framed by the seen and unseen or negotiated by a material space.

Using academic multilayered painting approaches, I unpack the technical and social framework created by, but not limited to art-historical traditions. I am interested in how relationships between underpainting vs. overpainting can animate conflict beneath formality. I explore provisional forms of self-representation whereby in order to process the image means to slow down the view, suspend judgment and get inside its surface. By emphasizing conflicts between the inner and the outer, I hope to foster new realities and new ways of being understood as not brown or white, wealthy or poor, but human. Often-acknowledging classical method’s incapacities for telling the truth, I stress ideas of vulnerability, false glamorization and anxiety of reconciling the past with the present.

For inquiries contact Goya Contemporary Gallery: gallery@goyacontemporary / view other works visit: kylehackettsudio.com