Last week I took a trip through my hometown, Memphis, TN, and stopped by for a studio visit with painter Hamlett Dobbins. Dobbins is the Director of the Clough-Hanson Gallery @ Rhodes College and also operates Material Art Space. Material is an alternative project space that has hosted the most contemporary, high quality exhibitions in Memphis over the last seven years while providing a venue for artists from Birmingham, AL to Tokyo, Japan.
From Dobbin's statement in the current issue of New American Paintings:
In our everyday lives, there are times when we are gripped with a whole-body pleasure, a spine thrill of delight when time seems to slow and we are hyper-present. I am trying to understand what it is about these extraordinary experiences of real life moments, in stories or movies that move me so. The way Elwood P. Dowd says, "and the evening wore on" in Harvey...the recording of my father's voice telling "The Story of the Rose"...the way the light falls in a rainbow on my little girl's hair...all of these moments contain the powerful impact of something pure and raw.
Since 2002, my paintings have been focused on these experiences with particular people. Because the paintings are based on specific experiences with friends or family, each painting tends to have its own set of parameters and challenges. I use painting to focus and wrap myself in these moments. By building the experience, I begin to understand what about the moment moved me to paint in the first place.
Hamlett Dobbins in his studio in Memphis, TN 2011