April 2, 2014 - April 27, 2014
From the ingenious mind of artist Craig Hickman comes the imaginary town of OXIDE, a place at once whimsical and poignant that can only be visited through Hickman’s color photographs. At first glance, some images may seem to portray a rather ordinary building or storefront, until closer inspection reveals that something is a bit off. In other pictures, bold signage advertising “verbs” or claiming “I like your style” will immediately indicate to viewers that this is not your typical community. Hickman creates each image as a composite, using both the camera and Photoshop to generate a scene that has never been seen before. No humans enter the frame; instead we see only the traces of their existence. The result is often humorous but not without the subtle edge of critique. Who are these people that live here? Could we be these people?
“OXIDE is a work of fiction. On it’s surface is a record of human actions, ideas, dreams and failures, modified by time and natural forces. You might think of it as the setting for a larger fictional work that hasn’t been written yet. You are welcome to write it. Let me know how it goes.” – Craig Hickman (unreliable narrator)
Craig Hickman is a co-founder of Blue Sky and currently serves as professor in the Digital Arts Program at the University of Oregon. He is also the creator of Kid Pix, a computer drawing program for children. Hickman earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Washington, Seattle. Hickman exhibited Portland Creative Community 1.0 at White Box in 2013, which included an extensive selection of reprinted black and white images documenting the city’s art scene from the 1960s onward. Recently, the artist self-published a monograph of OXIDE that will be available as part of Blue Sky’s Book Level membership program in 2014. This is Hickman’s sixth solo show at Blue Sky.
Join us for “A Night in OXIDE” on April 26, a celebration of Craig Hickman’s exhibition to raise funds for Blue Sky’s exhibition program. Ask at the Front Desk for details or visit http://www.blueskygallery.org/programs/oxide-event/.