To coincide with artist-in-residence Robert Hodge‘s current exhibition, Between the Devil and the Deep, now on view at Artpace San Antonio ’til the 7th of May, Band of Vices is offering a pre-sale of select works from the current show.
1. Blessings on Blessings, mixed media on reclaimed paper, 28×28, 2017
2. Between the Devil the Deep I, mixed media reclaimed paper on canvas with hemp thread, 28×28, 2017
3. Between the Devil the Deep II, mixed media reclaimed paper on canvas with hemp thread and neon light, 72×72, 2017
4. Behold, A Lady, mixed media on reclaimed tar paper with hemp thread, 44×36.5, 2016
5. Revelation, mixed media collage, 28×28, 2017
6. Lord’s Prayer, mixed media on record sleeves, neon light, 72×72, 2017
(If you’d like to see more works from this exhibition or to view these individually, email us at BandofVices@gmail.com)
In the exhibition, Hodge examines the concept of the devil and the connection between talent and the supernatural. Specifically, he taps into the rumors behind Robert Johnson, who was said to have sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads. For a time in late 1936, Johnson had set up a makeshift recording space in a room at San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel. He finished recording in Dallas, but 11 of the 16 songs on King of the Delta Blues Singers originate from that San Antonio hotel room. Not even a year after wrapping up in Dallas, Johnson was poisoned by his girlfriend, dying at the age of 28. Hodge sums up Johnson’s rise and fall by citing the back of the vinyl sleeve of the album: “Robert Johnson appeared and disappeared, in much the same fashion as a sheet of newspaper twisting and twirling down a dark and windy midnight street.”Johnson’s impact and importance were not lost on the music world, nor are they lost on Robert Hodge. His representation of Johnson, much like his own artistic practice, is multifaceted. Accompanying the exhibition of paintings and prints studying the misconception that skill and hard work are somehow related to the supernatural, he began working on an album, an exclusive release on vinyl. Hodge has been at work with a group of contemporary artists, recreating and re-imagining the songs of Robert Johnson “maintaining the 1930s Delta blues feel while expanding upon the music to connect with younger generations.”
Hodge reiterates the connection between visual art and music within his work. “I’m considering as many senses as I can to give the viewer, and the most realistic for me is the audio and visual. They seem to activate the other senses.” Through his dedication to both crafts, Hodge exemplifies the will and perseverance that births talent. Had he been born of a different generation, perhaps rumors would have spread that he, too, had sold his soul to the devil somewhere in the crossroads of Third Ward.