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Layers: Recent Work by the Hanft Family

Norfolk Art Center
Norfolk, Nebraska
September 1 – October 27, 2016

Artist Statement

The images, patterns, and textures I have selected for this show contain ideas and experiments that I have been collecting since graduating from Concordia University in 2001.

You might notice remnants of a roadside billboard in Columbus whose surface became unbound after the battering of a Nebraska storm. How many travelers ignored each layer of advertisements before the sign caved in on itself and became source material for my art?

You may see textures inspired by dumpsters hidden in alleys whose walls absorbed the impact of decades of waste. How many people ignored these patterns before my camera clicked the Jackson Pollock-like explosion of filthy color?

You could find artifacts stolen from the peeling walls of a decrepit church where brittle wallpaper clung to dissolving plaster. How many sermons and hymns had the floral pattern witnessed before it became an artifact in one of my paintings?

My art has always been hard to classify. Are they paintings, prints, collage, photography, or digital? The advantage of a process that is disloyal to a single medium is that I am free to invent my own tools. Ink is pulled through screens manufactured in my basement darkroom. I create photos from tin cans, legos, and the guts of malfunctioning cameras. Even on the computer, I build software that injects unpredictability into the normally pixel-perfect digital space. The result is less an act of refinement, more a patient process of waiting for patterns to emerge from chaos.