Noah Hook (he/they) is an interdisciplinary artist from White Stone, Virginia. He currently lives and works in Richmond, Virginia; where he received his BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. He received a 2018 VMFA Undergraduate Fellowship and was named the 2019 VCU Painting and Printmaking Senior of the Year. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Anderson Gallery, Workhouse Arts Center, Westover Place, and the Eden Airlines. He is also the Co-Director of the Rump Gallery, a transient space switching between virtual shows and physical spaces, where he hosts and curates exhibitions by artists from around the country.
I am an artist exploring the ways pride and shame, privilege and disempowerment, growth and stagnancy, and faith and fear intertwine to affect people, populations, and the places they inhabit. With subjects such as whiteness, masculinity, sexuality, poverty, heritage, and violence at the forefront of my analysis; I examine my upbringing and current life in order to understand my place within history and our contemporary political landscape.
Through primarily video, painting, and sculpture I trace the histories and mythologies that combined to form the subjects (ranging from my own family to crab monsters living in the swamp) that I choose to examine. Often using my childhood home or surrounding marsh environment as a backdrop or stage for my characters; I examine the location’s perpetual state of deterioration, which I find to epitomize the self-proclaimed redneck culture I was raised in. By assigning worth to things such as oysters, stains, rope, and antlers; I am able to eliminate or further enforce dynamics of power. Antlers function as a symbol of perceived pride and dominance, while stains are signs of neglect and time moving on. These systems of power and value allow for comparisons to the real life systems that my work mimics and deviates from. I also examine the spaces I now find myself in – primarily upper class, institutional, white wall art spaces. I’m considering my relationship to these vastly different environments, and drawing out the many prejudices they hold against each other.
In short, I’m taking important memories, stories, relationships, and points of view from my life and injecting them into objects or fictitious beings for short periods of time. It’s my way of trying to make sense of things, with the hopes that my work can lead to discussions that tie into issues of a much larger scale.