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Interview with Kevin Hughes

Interview  /  Artists
Published: 08.01.2013
Interview with Kevin Hughes.
Author:
Klimt02
Edited by:
Klimt02
Edited at:
Barcelona

Intro
To a certain degree I do think jewelry is being standardized, but I don’t think this is unique to the field. I see it in painting, sculpture, ceramics…etc. But over time the standards invariably change. Artists should strive to break through standardization, to avoid trends and make unique work – to find their individual voice.
Do you think that jewelry is being standardized? What is there of local and universal in your artistic work?
To a certain degree I do think jewelry is being standardized, but I don’t think this is unique to the field. I see it in painting, sculpture, ceramics…etc. But over time the standards invariably change. Artists should strive to break through standardization, to avoid trends and make unique work – to find their individual voice.

Being born an American and spending most of my life there, my work will always have American influences. But I am also exposed to the world. I believe it is important for an artist to have local and global viewpoints.

What do you expect when exposing your work to the public (for example with an exhibition)?
Each piece is created to evoke a different response. Some of my work is whimsical and nostalgic, and often I hope to evoke a certain emotional connection between the viewer and the piece – a cheerful familiarity with the aim of encouraging an aesthetic appreciation of the past. But overall, what is so great about creating art and exposing it to the public is the unknown reaction. Viewing and reacting to art often can be as personal and individualistic as creating it.

Are other areas besides the jewelry, present in your work?
Humor, color, and playfulness are all aspects that are present in my work. But to be honest, I find this question quite difficult. My work is sincerely, though not literally, autobiographical. It contains all my areas of interest – form, wit, nostalgia, an appreciation of the beauty of the everyday, but it also contains my fears, obsessions, flaws – my OCD, my quirkiness. 

The last work, book, film, that has moved me was...
Jaques Tati's film Mon Oncle
was the last film I saw that truly impacted me. This charming film about a boy and his uncle has a sensitivity to character and ingenuity in filmmaking. With little dialog the film relies more on stunning visuals and a dynamic music score, the imposing nature of the modern architecture and “automated conveniences” is absurd yet aesthetically enthralling.

A place, space, country whose creativity surprises me...
I am impressed by the work that has come from Sweden. There seems to be a fearlessness there that comes through in much of the work as well as a stark originality.

Is there any designer, jeweller, artist, you appreciate a lot?
I really admire David Bielander's work. It is full of humor and so cleverly constructed, the way he manipulates material to make jewelry is quite striking

What piece or work has given you the most satisfaction?
Most of my work is primarily constructed of metal, so I found great satisfaction in making New England. It was a welcome change to work in wood, and to carve away and have the shape emerge in such a tactile manner.
Kevin Hughes. Pendant: New England, 2010. Painted Wood. 6” x 2.25” x 1”. Kevin Hughes
Pendant: New England, 2010
Painted Wood
6” x 2.25” x 1”
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