Bobby Hill (b.1973), is the NYC based visual artist whose career started as an illustrator. He began painting on canvas in 2008 after returning to the US from my first trip overseas. His work has been commissioned by Coca Cola, Nike, XXL Magazine, Slam Magazine, The Source Magazine, and The James Luxury Hotels. He has also been featured in Mass Appeal Magazine, Gen Art, Max Fish, The Grey Worldwide Gallery, The Art Directors Club, a number of events throughout NYC and several galleries in Europe. Throughout his career, he has sold countless artworks to various celebrity buyers. From 2010-2019, he produced a few of his own solo art exhibitions and promoted them by hiding $50,000 worth of art prints around the streets and trains of NYC and abroad. As Bobby Hill continues to paint large scale on canvas and wood, his line of art prints can be found at West Elm, the 9-11 Memorial Museum, Hudson Yards and Rockefeller Center to name a few.
Original Painting Collections:
STELLAR is a story of getting back to the basics in order to move forward and rediscover who I am as a visual artist. To me, this meant using my life as the subject matter. Taking more time than usual to create each piece and being very deliberate with the composition. Painting with the brush rather than drawing with the brush. Scraping away layers of paint and collage materials that’s been building up on each found wooden panel over the last ten plus years. Working with common house paints as my main choice of medium... and purposely limiting myself to using a small stock of paintbrushes I purchased a few years ago from a recently passed away friend. He found them while dumpster diving at a local art university. Although I’m known for my mixed media screenprints, creatively I believe there are other levels to ascend to. Here I begin at STELLAR -Bobby Hill
The “Touch” collection was completed in 2016. These works eliminate the use of text and contains hardly any remnants of collaged posters. The use of crosshatch patterns has come to the forefront while line and shapes are the basis. It’s titled “Touch” because these works remind me of touching the soft skin of women. At the basis of these paintings are mostly abstract drawings that are routinely created as practice sketches.
*Update... All of these paintings have been painted over. Traces of them can be found in the STELLAR collection.
It Had To Happen This Way (2015)
“It Had To Happen This Way” was completed in 2015. These works brought about a more personal feel of actual life experiences with several of the pieces inspired by my early black and white line drawings translated to the current day and time at that moment. The materials used became simpler with less focus on collage/ mixed media and handwritten text and more focus on just painting. Also, no screen-printed images appeared within the paintings and the crosshatch patterns begin to surface throughout several pieces.
*Update... Almost all, except a handful of these paintings have been painted over. Traces of them can be found in the STELLAR collection.
“Bhillboards” was completed around 2012. The collection contained a mixed media collage of screenprinting, actual ripped billboard posters from the streets of NYC and abroad, loosely painted images and handwritten text. The main inspiration for the works centered around the feeling of NYC.
At the age of six, I attended a Michael Jackson concert at Madison Square Garden with a schoolmate and her mother. There was a strange looking guy with white hair sitting right in front of us who asked to take our picture. After he took the photo, I asked the girl’s mother who the guy was and she told me it was Andy Warhol. I then asked her what he did for a living and her answer was that I would find out when I got older. Years later I did some research, found out all about “The Factory” and how he used screen-printing to create his art. This chance encounter is what got me interested in the silkscreen process.
Coca Cola and the Development of a New Style
After the Coca Cola commission in 2001, where I produced 100 original screenprints for their top executives on the east coast, I was able to take some time off and briefly make art for art’s sake. During this period I stopped drawing and begin to experiment with color by throwing it around on paper reminiscent of Jackson Pollock. This allowed me to first understand how color corresponds to one another and when I took it a step further and finally added images within it, I understood how various colors could make the same image feel entirely different.
First Time Overseas
I returned to art in 2007 after a long hiatus filled with odd jobs, freelance commercial illustration work and tee shirt designs. Using the technique I learned in 2001, I created a collection of works on paper, sold them in Williamsburg and ended up meeting a lady from Spain. She proposed the idea of having an art show in her hometown and at the end of 2008 she pulled her resources together and made it happen. I traveled to Spain for the first time and in conjunction with an upscale restaurant, which doubled as an art gallery, the show opened and all the pieces sold. In the days following, I traveled through London and Paris, grabbing billboard posters off the walls to use in my art for when I returned to the states. Once back, I created my first collection of paintings on canvas and each one sold.
About My Print Style
I started my hand painted screenprint style back in 2001 a couple months after the World Trade Center went down. My first style was black and white pen and ink drawings on paper. I became bored of that style so I started messing around with throwing color around which was reminiscent of Jackson Pollock. These works have now become how I practice and stay sharp for times when I create the larger works on canvas and wood. In esence they have become my “studies.”
Each piece is individually screen printed and hand painted. Take notice of the colors rather than the image, even though that might be difficult to do sometimes. The colors represent what's going on in my life at any given moment and they also affect each image dfferently. For the most part the images are a mix of pop culture icons, buildings and items. Many are chosen just because I like them, while others come about as a result of suggestions from people.
The materials used are screen print ink, acrylic paint and sometimes oil based paint on archival paper. I use photographic images as the basis for the art, but I would sometimes draw directly on the acetate before I burn the screens to bring out parts of the images I felt were important.
One of the main reasons I like creating these mixed media screenprints is because each one comes out different and no two are exactly alike. As a result of the variety of images, colors, sizes and accessible prices you can easily mix and match your favorites and essentially create your own wall with them. - Bobby Hill