The first installment in Glasstire’s video and audio podcast series, Artist on Artist, in which Glasstire’s News Editor Christopher Blay, also an artist, hosts Texas-based artists and art professionals in one-on-one conversations.
This week, we visit with Houston artist Robert L. Hodge on Record Store Day as he discusses elements of his new vinyl record “Friendly Fire,” which is based on a 2017 exhibition of the same name at the Station Museum in Houston.
In 2017, Glasstire contributor Betsy Huete wrote about Hodge’s work in Friendly Fire:
“Robert Hodge’s installation Few of My Favorite Things (2016) similarly benefits from the ethos of resourcefulness at play in Friendly Fire. While he describes in the wall text this work as ‘a multi-sensory immersion in the aesthetics of black angst and rage,’ it strangely feels weathered and loving, and — a little like Lott’s work — memorializing. And that kind of infusion of love here makes Few of My Favorite Things all the more complicated and interesting: as painful examples of exploitation and racism abound in this work, they also read as some of the building blocks that made Hodge who he is. The homey living-room atmosphere reads simultaneously as an open wound and a badge of honor.”
I was introduced to Hodge’s work at his solo exhibition at the Galleries at UTA in Arlington a year ago, before I moved to Houston. I’ve had an ongoing conversation with the artist which has taken the form of a Top Five Christmas Hip Hop countdown, a group conversation on race, and peeking into his fridge as a way of checking on him during the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“In 2016, Station Museum presented Friendly Fire in association with Houston Sculpture Month 2016, a citywide sculptural survey of artists living and working in the Houston area. The exhibition title is derived from the military term for an attack on friendly troops while attempting to attack the enemy. Hodge’s concept idea was to “make a body of work around the police and how the black civilian is handled without care and with military precision.”