Today we’d like to introduce you to Jamie Hamilton.
Jamie, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was raised in the mountains east of Santa Fe, isolated in a rural area, spending almost all of my time outdoors exploring the landscape and my imagination. I was especially drawn to building structures using natural materials which I found on the land. As I grew older I found myself attracted to fringe activities such as mountain climbing, psychedelic drugs, and the arts. The adventures that ensued imbued me with a hearty skepticism regarding dogmatic and institutional approaches.
In addition to receiving support from patrons and collectors, I have found employment as a free-lance creator and worked with artists such as Judy Pfaff, Bruce Nauman, and Woody Vasulka to realize their projects while simultaneously being mentored by them. I am also an avid tight rope walker and have spent many hours on high wires suspended over gorges and between towers. Occasionally I host high wire performances and teach tight rope workshops. Through this practice I am reminded that one must not be consumed by one’s own fear but greet precarity with enthusiasm.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My practice consists of two major disciplines – building complex constructivist assemblages and high wire walking. The artist confronts a confounding double bind. On one hand art is so personal and autobiographic. A whole life, set of skills, sensations, and beliefs are coded into the works and actions of that artist. But art also has an independent existence as an object. It is a strange language, virus-like, using the viewer’s mind to create a puzzle where he or she at first only sees form, but intuits meaning, although a precise meaning may be impossible to conclude. In the process of confronting works of art, we tell ourselves stories to give incoherence meaning. My inspiration is that my work will serve as an enzyme for peoples’ imagination. I hope that they will take a story away, and it will be a fantastic story, a narration of their own, full of complexity and contradiction, and that the story will mutate and evolve into something they will remember.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
A successful artist is someone who leaves behind work that is seen as innovative in the greater context of history. This is incredibly rare and also has nothing to do with being a successful person, a kind person, or navigating life as a living artist. Success in the arts is on a very long arc, it can take decades or even centuries for works and the artist who made them to be fully validated. Art is so often used as bait in a pyramid scheme attracting individuals eager to cash in on a high R.O.I. It is good to notice that such ventures’ often fail. What is essential to becoming a successful artist, and coincidentally good advice for a living artist, is to cultivate a practice of creation durable enough to survive both being ignored and applauded, and a commitment strong enough that neither sycophants nor critics sway one’s engagement.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have several upcoming events and exhibitions with work at Vox Populi gallery in Philadelphia from July 13th to August 8th, work in a benefit show held at Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Los Angeles on the 28th of July and several events which will be announced in Maiden LA’s roster of events and happenings coming up this August. I will also be included in a publication which is currently being edited in Rome by Studio Permanente. If someone is interested in seeing more of the work and is in or able to travel to LA I am open to studio visits.
The best way people can support my work is by becoming a collector or patron. I am always happy to work with individuals if they are interested in acquiring an existing piece or commissioning a new one. Another way to support my art is by curating it into exhibitions, publishing it, and sharing it. People can visit my website for detailed information and an archive of images.
- Website: http://www.jamiehamiltonstudio.com/
- Phone: 8458532533
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamie.c.hamilton/
Hannah Hughes, Sunny Khalsa