San Francisco, Jessica Silverman Gallery South 495 Ellis StreetMap
Hope’s strong connection to his family and the lower-middle class Michigan town in which he was raised imbues his practice. As a child, Hope believed his family was living a perfect American life – hanging out at the mall, shopping at Kmart, and eating at fast food restaurants. As Hope studied, matured and experienced life outside his hometown, his idyllic vision of his past faded and was replaced with a realization of the many limitations on his family’s happiness, security, and social mobility. As his views shifted, the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan went through a massive transition, from prosperity to bankruptcy to the beginning of regeneration.
In his installation for JSG South, Hope transports the viewer to a highly personal socioeconomic place and draws our attention to the dynamics of class through a distinct familial portrait. In this environment, he explores his anxieties towards his family and the struggles they have faced. Hope titled this installation “LILAC” because it sounds like a combination of the words “lie” and “lack,” but also describes an object of natural beauty that grew for many years in the Hope family’s backyard.
Tony Hope (b. 1989, Redford, MI) has a BFA from College for Creative Studies in Detroit and a MFA in Sculpture from Yale University School of Art. Awarded a scholarship by Yale for his studies, Hope has exhibited his work at Queer Thoughts in Chicago, Coop Gallery in Nashville, Treasure Town in Brooklyn, ASHES/ASHES in Los Angeles, and Sam’s Space at Yale in New Haven. He has also staged several site-specific installations in Michigan. The artist lives and works in suburban Detroit, MI.