CountyPrince George's County
Traditional Arts, Visual Arts
Artist StatementIn my personal practice I make concept oriented sculptural works from found objects, using the term rather loosely. The objects used range from organic, purchased industrial or consumer goods, to post consumer discarded objects, but all of them are used in a manner that is responsive to the identity of the objects. By identity, I refer to the specific mental associations, related materials, expected actions of the object, surface qualities, historical personal connections to objects, and any other intrinsic properties of material. This identity or these associations are manipulated to achieve something remarkable or unexpected, often nullifying the original utility of the objects while simultaneously referencing them. The works fall into two general archetypes; highly intuitive spur of the moment manipulation of previously sourced objects such as combining found objects into new hybrid objects, distorting or concealing the surface qualities of the objects, and using found objects to reference other movements or specific pieces in art history. This archetype is typically more playful, both often have elements of absurdity. The second archetype is characterized best as a series of fulfilled questions of material: ‘what would happen if…?’ or ‘what would it look like if…?’ Thus far this archetype has predominantly taken place as interactions with wood, pursuing investigations such as excavating dimensional lumber along wood grains similar to the arte povera of Giuseppe Penone, or discovering how many screws can be forced into a length of wood before it disintegrates or explodes under the pressure. The titles of the works exist as a body of work in their own right, rarely having any strong connection the artwork presented. They often consist of seemingly absurd words or statements, fragments of conversation real or imagined but always presented without context, or brief written responses to objects or events encountered in life. These titles are intended as a mild indemnification of the more common expectation that titles must add complexity and meaning to a piece, imposing an air of gravitas over an artwork and stifling much of the enjoyment and wonder an artwork could bring. A selection of these titles have been included in a group show in their own right. Overall strong relationships emerge between the artist and Tom Friedman in the manner in which materials are approached and reconfigured, and Marcel Duchamp and the Dadist’s use of absurdity, self-negation of objects, and probing inquisitiveness into the limits and demesne of Art.
Kevin Hird recieved his BFA from Youngstown State University in 2012 and his MFA from University of Maryland in 2017. He grew up in Youngstown, Ohio and moved to the DC-Baltimore area in 2014, where he continues to live and work. His sculptures, often made of found objects, deal with with tension, identity, the platonic reality of objects, and the relationships of parts and form. While all of his works currently featured on the Maryland Artist Registry are primarily wood, we have his assurances that many of his other works feature other media.
Additionally he is one of the founding members of the Congress of Conceptual Art, and is involved in a number of developing and established concept oriented practices with other members of the group.