Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Last Friday I drove up to Richmond to see the work of and meet Sterling Hundley. Sterling has been a working illustrator for about ten years now and the show he had up was his first solo show as a painter. I had seen some of the work online via his blog, but this only offered a glimpse. It was enough to make me want to see the whole thing, and I am really glad I took the time to drive the three hours to see it.
After meeting with Sterling for lunch beforehand where we talked a bit about whose work we like, painting and illustration and a slew of other things. I had heard a lot of positive things about him from George Pratt (a mutual friend) and had seen his work grow over the past ten years. I've always liked it for both his thinking and aesthetics and felt that he was someone who was willing to try new things and who approached subjects with an emotional and intellectual approach that resonated with my sensibilities.
When we got to the gallery and I saw the work I was floored. He has taken on some heavy material and approached it in a way that draws viewers in with beauty and asks them to look their own relationship with the content without ever stepping into preaching. My favorite series is "God Save the Queen". I don't want to give it away here, but if you are lucky enough to see the work, you will be treated to a beautiful an moving series of paintings.
The titles themselves give enough to prompt a dialogue with the work but never give it away but instead work as a starting point for one to consider the beautiful works.
After looking at the work and discussing it a little with Sterling, I was treated to a short tour of Richmond and some historical places including the Hollywood Cemetery, one of the seven hills of Richmond with a train buried beneath it and a great view of the James river.