There, I said it. In big, bold letters. Without trying to get around it, or making amends. I went to Jim Hodges exhibition at the Hammer, last Saturday, and I hated it. Those who know me can testify: I don’t hate many things. I dislike tons of it - figs, blowing my nose when I step on a wet puddle in the bathroom while wearing socks - and am not a fan of many people - but hate, well, I can count on one hand things I hate. Currently, Jim Hodges works are one of them.
Dear Jim, please don’t take it personally. I don’t know you and (hope my MA professors don’t listen to me, but) quite frankly, I have never heard about you before stepping foot at the Hammer last Saturday. So, it’s not you. It’s just what you do. Cracked mirrors, curtains of flowers and butterflies, a tapestry made of denim? Seriously?
And the museum’s website doesn't help -- at all. They are not showing ‘studies’ (let alone ‘poignant’). It is all a ton of (I-can’t-believe-I’m-actually-paraphrasing-Greenberg) kitschy, wonderland, junk. All I want to do is throw-up buckets of rainbows and ride on my glittery purple unicorn far far away from all of it. Jim Hodges works are layer upon layer of cafona. (‘Cafona’ is a Portuguese word that can loosely be translated as ‘tacky’ - but tacky doesn’t convey the precise meaning I’m aiming for. If you’re Brazilian, you know what I mean by ‘cafona’).
To be fair, I've ‘googled’ Jim Hodges and saw a piece (three rocks in a circle, half-painted with shiny/metallic colors à la Koons) that it’s quite cool. To be fair, there can be many Hodges pieces that are good and, because they weren’t exhibited at the Hammer (nor in the first page of Google Image search) I am unaware of. But, I’m sorry. This is not about the artist's oeuvre, in general, or about his persona. It is about Jim Hodges exhibition at the Hammer. And, from what I saw, I hated it.