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Artist profile: Mallory Hodgkin 

click to enlarge Mallory Hodgkin, "Brotherly Love" (detail)
  • Mallory Hodgkin, "Brotherly Love" (detail)

Mallory Hodgkin likes to paint on unusual surfaces. Take one of the Indy-area artist's pieces, which features a ram’s skull with crossbones rendered in house paint on a vintage Jimmy Swaggart LP. She's also into cutting boards: “I went to Ikea and noticed that their cutting boards don’t have any varnish on them. They make really nice painting surfaces.”

Hodgkin's subjects can be a bit bizarre too. Take the sinister man, putting toothpaste on his toothbrush, while an even more sinister dude looks on, both of them accompanied by a painted piece of text, “BRUSH YOUR TEETH.” The faces of the depicted figures are purposely elongated and exaggerated, their cheeks glowing white against the black background. They aren’t the handsomest guys in the world, but Hodgkin renders their features with a good deal of skill.

That's not to mention the two Siamese twin red devils, wearing only a wraparound towel, who form the shape of a heart as one devil puts a ring on the other's finger. This painting, "Brotherly Love" — which will be on view at Oranje — and others of hers look like they could be in a graphic novel.

Hodgkin, whose career goal is to be a full-time illustrator, says she's had plenty of ideas for graphic novels over the years, though she draws more inspiration from television cartoons than any other form. “It was mostly stuff that I watched when I was little. Anything that your mom wouldn’t let you watch,” she says. Ren and Stimpy was a big favorite.

Hodgkin's mom can claim a lot of credit for Hodgkin’s interest in art. “Art has been in my life forever,” she says. “When I was a little kid that’s all I would ever do. I would just draw. My mom used to give me receipts and pencils when I’d get bored. My homework had doodles all over it.”

click to enlarge Hodgkin at work.
  • Hodgkin at work.

Hodgkin wound up going to the Savannah College of Art & Design, from which she she graduated in 2009 with an illustration degree. She's been a RAW exhibiting artist, and her work was featured during IndyFringe at Indiana Landmarks Center.

2012 marks Hodgkin’s third year as an Oranje exhibiting artist. Will she be doing any live painting as in years past?

“The first year I did it, I had a canvas out and I started painting,” she says. “Although it was interesting for people to watch me paint, it was really hard to do two things at once. I wanted to talk to people about it. And you can’t really do that when I’m occupied. I’m not sure if I’ll do that. I’ll probably bring my supplies and make it look cool but I don’t know if I’ll be painting. It will mostly be showing the work.”

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