Roland Hicks’ hyperrealist works examine overlooked items in our daily life including rubber bands, thumb tacks and pieces of tape. These items become an intriguing presence as he builds a tense relationship between figuration and abstraction.
Hicks’ works from The Gathering Things (2013) are an amalgamation of paintings, sculpture and trompe l’oeil reliefs. Blurring the boundaries between the different mediums, his works examine items of stationery turned into spontaneous sculptures, evidence of a minimal creative gesture. These intuitive creative acts, hastily assembled, are slowly and painstakingly recreated under Hicks’ hand, amplifying even the smallest of gestures and making us reconsider the mundane material which surrounds us. His works possess an inherent sense of absurdity as to why someone would assemble such compositions and it continues to question the point at which something becomes art. Hicks playfully distorts where his creative process begins and ends; whether it is through the original assemblage, the painting process or the hand sculpted re-creation.
Hicks starts each work with a photograph and it is the slow process of painting which becomes a way to reintroduce time and duration into his creative process. Some of the works clearly reference art history; the twisted ball of rubber bands in a sculpture like Allocate Me Guidance (2011) carry echoes of Richard Deacon and the coloured paperclips possess strong sculptural lines similar to Anthony Caro’s work. Conversely, his Untitled tape reliefs (2011) act as more of a straightforward mimesis adhering to the traditions of trompe l'oeil.
Hicks forces the viewer to examine each of his works with near forensic scrutiny which is when the real sense of wonderment begins to unfold where thumb tacks and tape reveal their true matter of polymer clay or modelling paste. Concerned with both the beautiful and banal, his works are infused with dualities; they are earnest yet playful, abstract and at once figurative, simulated and authentic.
Roland Hicks was born in 1967. He lives and works in London. Select exhibitions include Jerwood Drawing Prize, Jerwood Space, London (2015), The Gathering Things, Eleven, London (2013), The This and The That (with Justin Allen) Eleven, London (2010).