Season 7 Preview: Elliott Hundley

Production stills from ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7. © ART21, Inc. 2014.

Elliott Hundley (b. 1975, Greensboro, North Carolina) draws inspiration for his paintings from diverse sources, but especially from his Southern heritage, steeped in family history. Many of his works also contain references to Greek tragedy and classical mythology, and to Japanese woodblock prints. He also stages improvisational photo shoots to generate imagery for his multi-panel tableaus, casting friends and family in roles from antiquity and various other sources. With these and other images anchored by thousands of pins to bulletin-board-like surfaces, his shallow reliefs form a palimpsest that teems with humble materials such as cut-up magazines, string, plastic, gold leaf, and other ephemera. He frequently recycles leftover scraps from one work to the next and uses images of completed paintings as substructures for new projects, creating continuity between old and new.

In the following preview from the ART21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7 episode Secrets, artist Elliott Hundley discusses the role of recycled materials in his work. Shown in his Los Angeles studio in early 2014, the artist describes a “trust” in the process of selecting paper cut-outs for use in his paintings. “In relinquishing some control, it allows me some distance,” says the artist. “I start to feel like the artwork is responding to me, giving me something back or becoming something that I never expected.”

Season 7 of Art in the Twenty-First Century premieres Friday, October 24, 2014 at 10pm ET on PBS (check local listings). Secrets airs Friday, October 31, 2014.