Since Hill moved from L.A. to Harlem in October of last year and settled into the museum as one of their current artists in residence, he has been drawn back to a childhood obsession: amusement parks. “When I was little, I had these notebooks and they’d all be covered with roller coaster drawings, then in the margins they would have the stats (how many times it went upside down, and maximum speed). I had Hot Wheels tracks that would loop around my room, and K’NEX roller coaster sets—it’s been a thing. I’m deep in it,” he says with a smile.
Hill is soft-spoken, alert, and sensitive in person. (At one point in our interview he requests to ask me some questions about myself to even the balance between us.) He grew up in southern Los Angeles and rarely engaged with art as a child. His entree to art school came on the recommendation of the artist Margaret Nomentana, whom he met while at a summer camp in Maine. “She saw something in me that I didn’t see myself,” he says. “When I went to art school, suddenly things made sense. The possibilities for developing ideas and sharing them, and engaging in dialogue, challenging my own positions on things. I felt like I was expanding, weekly. And it was a growth that I wanted more and more. It was like an addiction. It is an addiction.”