Take Pause Pump Brakes (Panoche), acrylic and spraypaint on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist
Somewhere in between dreams and reality exists a state of Hyperlimbo, a sort of transitory world that is both a place and a state of mind. In Hueman‘s latest body of work at KP Projects Gallery in LA, the artist explores this dimension through prismatic, gradient portraits and abstracted narrative landscapes. Her paintings depict characters that appear to be stuck in this neon glitch of time, existing in dreamlike states of vivid hues and geometric shape-play. Inspired by constant road trips on the I-5 between Oakland and LA, the entirety of Hueman’s solo show was conceived during times of travel and transition. Hyperlimbo expresses the internal dialog she experienced on many long, isolated six-hour drives over the course of the last 12 years.
Flying Through the Final Stretch (Grapevine), acrylic and spraypaint on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist
For Hueman, the countless hours of personal, creative reflection and the quiet solitude of the open road paved the way for this extensive body of work. Hueman tells The Creators Project, “My pieces are inspired by the imagery I encountered on those trips–the hills, the road, the clouds, as well as human feelings of introversion, isolation, longing, and boredom.” She explains, “I’m obsessed with the concept of being in-between states, of being in transition. Hypnagogia is the experience of transitioning from wake to sleep, and when we meditate we concentrate on placing ourselves in this mode, which is serene and peaceful, but still conscious. The theme of the show is inspired by how I may tend to slip in and out of this hypnagogic state while driving on long stretches of road. It’s all very introspective.”
Emotional Landscapes (Lost Hills), acrylic and spraypaint on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist
The combination of a busy creative schedule and the constant travelling aids Hueman in her process, as it both encourages and allows for forward motion. “When I’ve got a lot on my plate, it pushes me to think quickly or more creatively out of necessity,” she says. “If I’ve got a big project lined up, but also a trip planned right before it, I have to be strategic in the way I do things. There is a lot of downtime when you’re in transit, a lot of sitting and waiting. I use that time to read, sketch, or come up with new ideas.”
Visual Arrest (Magic Mtn), acrylic and spraypaint on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist
Allowing her pieces to take shape intuitively, Hueman’s process of applying paint to the canvas begins abstractly, without forcing its development. “My paintings start with abstract gestures, using brushes or spray paint. I’ll create a composition until it looks good to me. Then I spend some time meditating on the abstract piece, and let that dictate the direction the work is going to go,” Hueman explains. “I’ll sometimes see a face, or a figure, and carve that out of the abstract. Lastly I’ll add cuts and lines and shapes to balance the entire thing out.”
“For this show,” Hueman says, “I chose pastel colors that remind me of sky gradients, because so much time is spent staring at the horizon. I file a lot of images of clouds and skies and sunsets and use those as reference. The people in my paintings are all people I know; they aren’t meant to represent any specific character or a story, but are there to communicate an overall mood.” In keeping with the thematic element of travel, discovery and the California landscape, each piece in Hueman’s show has an alternate title that corresponds to an exit on the I-5 Freeway.
Halfway to the Horizon (Kettleman), acrylic and spraypaint on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist