Andrea Hornick: Bound and Protected

Released Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bound and Protected, by Andrea Hornick.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Victory Junction.

Andrea Hornick is an artist whose work is informed by authority and truth as evidenced by the history of painting, historiography, and post-feminism. Her work has taken the form of painting, video, text, and performance. Over the past twelve years she has worked in painting, always with the common thread of technical, formal, and conceptual relationships to historical paintings. Her current work centers on the addition of animal spirit guides to old masters’ portraits of women in the form of altered reproductions - painting into existing copies, and works on paper inspired by old masters’ drawings. This work is a return to an earlier performance, collage, and text-based project.

Hornick is based in New York, NY. She has shown extensively in New York and Los Angeles - most recently with David Krut Projects NY, for which the catalogue, Andrea Hornick Recent Work: 1460 – 1865 was published. A 1999 publication, Andrea Hornick: works from 1779 – 1798, was published for an installation and performance of the same name. She currently teaches drawing at Barnard College in the Visual Studies Department. She has taught at Oberlin College, Auckland University, and worked as a Museum Teacher at The Jewish Museum, The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, The Morgan Library, and the Museum of Natural History. She has been a visiting artist at Oberlin College and the University of California at Davis. Hornick has a B.A. from Oberlin College and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.

About the print:
The full title of this piece is Bound and Protected by Blessbuck Couple Who Allow Her to Be in Two Places at Once, Betty de Rothschild Serves as Shamanic Procurer of Power Animals and Hostess, on Safari. I started with a portrait of Betty de Rothschild by Ingre. This portrait actually has two companion paintings that it hangs within the center of. I chose the portraits such that they all work together and within the guidelines I established for choosing four groups of three old masters paintings to work with. This group of three consists of all Jewish sitters, so they are all from the early modern period. I then used a traditional shamanic process to choose the power animals (spirit guides) for each of the three sitters. I asked to be shown all three of the sitters' animals at once, in order that they relate. All of the animals were from an African landscape. Rothschild has a pair of blessbucks. These blessbucks help her to be in two places at once; she is hosting a safari and must be present with her guests, so one animal helps her to do this. In addition, she has offered to find each of her guests a power animal, so the other animal takes her on these quests. She gets on the back of the blessbuck, whom she rides on a journey to be shown the power animal of each guest, returns to report her findings, and then goes out again to quest for the next guest. This approximates a self-portrait, as she takes on my role as shaman, is Jewish, and wants to be in many places at once.

This is a digital print on acid free, Neenah uncoated matte 100lb cover paper that is 80% recycled. It was digitally signed by the artist and was numbered by The Working Proof.


Process drawings.

What has inspired you recently?
Recently, I have been inspired by old master's drawings. I am teaching a class at Barnard College called, "Drawing in and from Museums" which focuses on technique and appropriation. I took the students to the Hispanic Society of America in the Bronx, an amazing sort of "Little Spain". It began as a private collection museum, which usually means its roots are wonderfully strange, crafted from a collector's vision. The curator spent a few hours showing us old master's drawings and oil sketches - unframed - handling them with his hands. For the most part, they had been studio tools and were very accessible, even vulnerable. I have been steeling some ideas from Goya, Carducho, and Ribera. There was a Carducho drawing we viewed of a bird, wings spread, on an intense (though muted over time) blue paper, drawn with so few white charcoal lines - just enough to make the bird emerge with amazing volume, presence, and emotion. It was about 8 x 10 inches and had been a study for a fresco on a ceiling.

I am also inspired by a work that I am doing in collaboration with an art historian. She commissioned me to paint some animal spirit guides into a 19th Century copy of the Raphael painting, Madonna of the Goldfinch. I did shamanic drum journeys for both the sitters in the portrait, Mary, Christ, and St. John and the members of the family who own the portrait, as they project themselves onto the sitters. It was such a wonderful idea and I am seeking out other copies to work on - if possible in conjunction with living people. I love the layering of contemporary and historical personalities as the project bridges time periods, and allows a sort of time travel inherently.

Why did you choose to pair Victory Junction with your print?
I would like to choose Victory Junction, which provides a camping experience for children with serious illnesses. This feels appropriate for this print because I find animal spirit guides for historical figures and I work with shamanic processes. For this, spending time in nature has been transformative and necessary. I believe spending time in nature can be incredibly restorative and healing. I have lost family members due to serious illness and can't imagine what that would be like for a child.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
When I am viewing art in a gallery or museum and feel a palpable, temple-like silence, that is transformation happening. People are really looking and experiencing; opening themselves up to being changed inside by the work, even if just in a small way. They may not think about it intellectually - it hits the intellect after the fact. I see my students express something, give an assignment an extra push, and feel a sense of being able to communicate something they didn't know was even there, or didn't know was communicable. I often feel that I am transformed by making, and then another step further, when the work is shown. I have seen work that has made me feel - spiritually - not alone. These are the works that inspired me to continue when I was a student. Staying open to these moments keeps me going.

If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
To pick a mentor, I would imagine some combination of Lisa Yuskavage and Vermeer, either as a sort of pair or a confluence of the two. These are artists that I admire greatly and learn from endlessly. Whenever I view their work, I study it. Lisa Yuskavage has taken old masters, internalized their techniques, and made them her own. She has contemporary colors and subject matter and uses her insane skill to make sensitive, dramatic work. One can look at them for a long time - the experience is not over when you have digested the narrative. The technique, the form, and the subjects cycle and dialogue with one another, allowing layers of experience. Vermeer, while also dramatic, has a slower feel, like going back in time. One can feel the slow speed with which he considered the light and forms, and then undertook to convey them with such passion. I love that he used a camera obscura to compose and even at times to project the subject onto his canvas to aid in his drawing. I often use more contemporary tools for these purposes. I think of it as mediating the image to give oneself new perspectives. I also just love camera obscuras, especially ones you can walk into.

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