For one memorable night this July, contemporary master Ron Hicks will inscribe a thoughtful anthology of stories without time, without place, and without ending.
Faces of Eve will tell ageless tales of Venus in oil on canvas, each chapter seeking a truth unique to the female experience and all of them bound together in a volume as relevant as it is articulate. Borrowing judiciously from ancient banishment mythologies, Hicks will shine a light on the unchanging roles, tests and triumphs of womankind, illuminating essential points of contact between past and present through a remarkably perceptive, contemporary lens.
“Faces of Eve is loosely inspired by the Biblical story of Adam and Eve,” he explains. “I was drawn to explore how Eve’s story parallels some of the things happening today, from being a refugee in a foreign land, to her relationships, to how those experiences affected her through time. Eve could be any race, color or creed, and from any background or socioeconomic status. Eve is every woman, then and now, through the lens of today’s woman.”
While attempting a narrative of that depth and scope is certainly daunting, consider that Hicks has been blurring the lines between then and now for the better part of an increasingly celebrated career. A gentle patina of age seems to rest upon many of his modern works, tempering the hard edges of the contemporary, lending authority to the everyday, and softening the starkly commonplace behind an intangible veil of classical romance. The Dutch Masters have been welcome in his studio from earliest age, an influence manifest in Hicks’ extraordinary gift for expanding a single human instant into an enduring human insight.
And just as Hicks moves effortlessly through centuries, so too is he at home in a wide variety of artistic forms. An illustrator by training, an impressionist by instinct and naturally inclined to the representational, Hicks is forever seeking new ways to express his timeless themes. “About 12 years ago I would’ve described my style as representational realism,” he says. “Now I’m not sure what I consider my work to be, mainly because I draw inspiration from several styles. I like to think I embrace it all.”
Most recently, Hicks has begun to embrace the abstract. And, from his vantage point, he’s treading on perfectly familiar ground. “I’ve approached my work abstractly for as far back as I can remember. The beginnings of all of my traditional paintings start out very abstract. As the painting evolves, the richness of the abstract qualities remains beneath the surface of the traditional passages. In my opinion, the only real difference between the traditional and the abstract is that, in something more traditional, the shapes are more recognizable. But they’re shapes, nonetheless.”
“I’m very excited about working with Gallery 1261,” Hicks says. “The gallery has a tremendous group of hard-working artists and a very talented staff. They’re doing what I think all galleries should be doing. Instead of waiting for something to magically happen, they’re out making the connections through art fairs, social media and various other avenues to promote their artists. I’m proud to be associated with them.”