Logan Hicks Introduces Pop-up Solo Exhibition [INTERVIEW]

Posted on: February 26th, 2014 at 10:03 am by

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Love Never Saved Anything, Logan Hicks

Logan Hicks, renowned for his street art, intrinsic studio pieces, and risky urban exploration, has recently parted ways with the traditional gallery world, to pursue what is shaping up to be a bright avenue in the future representation of artists.

He’s partnered with PMM Art Projects, a creative art venture by music moguls Pat Magnarella and Roger Klein (who have repped the likes of Green Day, et al.). Together, they are introducing Hicks’ pop-up solo exhibit, “Love Never Saved Anything,” on the Lower East Side next month. We wanted to learn more about Hicks, his experiences thus far with PMM Projects, and his upcoming show – so we went to the source.

BOWERY BOOGIE: What has your experience been like with PMM Projects?

LOGAN HICKS: Working with PMM has been amazing. The difference from previous galleries is like day and night. The goal of any artist is to form partnerships with people and galleries that build on the momentum that you establish, and Pat understands that you’re not selling art, you’re building a career. When you have galleries that try to exploit and undermine your successes, its demoralizing. Last year, after a series of incidents, I terminated my gallery affiliation and approached Pat and PMM about formally working together. I had been speaking to Pat and Roger since 2007, but the timing was never right. After I moved away from the traditional artist/gallery relationship, I knew it was time to act. What is unfortunate is that I had become so conditioned to being marginalized that even getting an email response was like pulling teeth. So the first time Pat even picked up the phone he exceeded my previous expectations. I’m a bit embarrassed that I put up with it for as long as I did.  Since working with PMM, it’s been a drastic ascent. I may be alone in the studio when I make the work, but outside the studio I have a small army of sales, pr, shipping, legal, web, nurturing people that support me and my goals. For the first time in years I feel endless.

BB: What were some of the challenges in executing underwater photography for the purposes of your latest project?

LH: Trying to take photos underwater that convey that sense of grace and suspended time is tricky. Although it only takes a second to snap a photo, you don’t think about how you look when you dive underwater. Your cheeks get puffed out, your eyes squinted. For every 30 photos I took, maybe 1 was useful. Trying to get the vision you have in your head to sync up to the reality of someone gasping for air before they drown can be challenging. Luckily though, its not the worst place to take photos. There could be worse problems than being in a pool on a warm day and snapping pictures until you get it right.

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Love Never Saved Anything, Logan Hicks

BB: What hooked you on nautical scenes as a form of expression?

LH: I’ve always gravitated towards the sea. I’ve always lived near it. My dad was in the navy. I appreciate traditional sailor tattoos. I’m a Pisces. All of it has contributed in some way to the person that I’ve become – and more than anything, it’s just an image rich culture. Reading about traditional sailor traditions and the superstitions that surround the culture is incredible. The one thing that I’ve come to recognize is that any superstitions revolve around a few concepts – life, love, death, riches, salvation. Any subculture and the superstitions that orbit around it deal with those concepts. For me, I’m just drawn to the nautical lexicon. The idea of a boat, floating around on massive ocean, facing challenges and relying on their skill to survive is interesting. I guess I feel like that sometimes.

BB: Do you have any hopes for people who view “Love Never Saved Anything”? What would you like people to take away from it?

LH: As an artist, I hope that the issues or ideas or feelings that I have when I create work is universal, and that other people can connect with it. Although I might have specific narratives or experiences that I base my paintings on, I don’t think that it’s important to put those out there on the front end. I feel like work is successful when strangers feel attached to in it in some way, or when they become invested in it emotionally. The story that I have behind it then simply adds a second layer of appreciation. But to answer your question, no, I don’t have any hopes for people viewing it. My right to expect a response ends once I remove the paintings from my studio. After that, it’s entering the public realm. I know that I worked hard. I know that I’m happy with it. That’s all that matters really.

BB: Have any interesting stories from one of your urban explorations? 

LH: The one story that I always mention is when I was exploring some of the drainage tunnels in Los Angeles. Me and my friend Jordan walked into this tunnel and I thought I saw something.  I motioned to hold up for a second. I yelled out ‘anybody there?’and after a second or two of silence, this gravelly voice said “yeah.” I said, “you mind if we pass.” Again, a second or two seemed to pass as the voice mulled over the request. “Okay,” he said, then followed up with “You ain’t got a camera, do you?” Seemed weird to ask in a pitch black tunnel, but I replied, “Yeah, but we’re just taking pictures of tunnels’.” He gave an “ok” and we started to walk towards the voice. As our flashlights poked through the dark, I could make out his outline. We kept walking towards him and then it became clear why he asked if we had a camera. He was standing in the middle of this tunnel totally naked freebasing crack. He had a friend that was sitting down in the tunnel letting the drainage water wash over him, and also smoking crack. I can now tell you from my own personal experience, that there is no tunnel big enough for a man to pass another naked man smoking crack without feeling claustrophobic. We made our way past him and kept walking down the tunnel. I thought to myself, I wonder which one of us feels the craziest? Us for walking past a naked man smoking crack in a remote tunnel, or him, for having two guys carry a backpack and camera into a tunnel and never return (we exited out a manhole down the line).

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Love Never Saved Anything, Logan Hicks

BB: What are your biggest inspirations?

LH: Travel, exploring, watching movies in theaters.

BB: Do you have any favorite Lower East Side spots?

LH: I was visiting the Lower East Side when I decided to move to New York actually. We stayed with friends of ours from Theme Magazine who had a spot there.  I can clearly remember sitting in Max Fish (RIP) with my girlfriend at the time and thinking to myself, how it is it that I feel more at home in this bar that I visit once a year than  a bar that I visit weekly in Los Angeles? New York just had that ‘feel’ that resonated with me. It felt like home to me – so I said, “We should move here.” 8 months later I was setting up my studio.

BB: What do you consider to be the most important aspect of street art? Any advice for emerging artists looking to pursue a similar path?

LH: I’m terrible for advice since I’m not totally sure how I got to this point in my life myself! It’s just like anything else in life, I suppose – you keep at it ’til you get it right, you never give up, you use your head and don’t invest too much energy into believing others more than you believe yourself. Nobody sucks forever. Success favors the patient.

Love Never Saved Anything will open at 154 Stanton Street on March 7 – it runs through March 19.

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