Philip Hitchcock in LAM’s Guest Artist Gallery January 27

Leather Archives & Museum

Challenging. Alluring. Rock Hard. The life-size male erotic figures of Philip Hitchcock merge fantasy and reality to create powerful sculptural forms, evoking themes of heroism and human frailty. Focusing on ancient mythology from different cultures, Hitchcock creates contemporary representations of iconic deities whose grandeur is humanized by their corporeal sensuality. The hyper-realistic forms, which are created from multiple castings of live models, are layered and embellished with accoutrements. The work is a metaphor for the human condition one decade into the 21st century: It presents a core of realism surrounded by the more unnerving images we wish the world to notice and judge. Of this body of work Dr. William Whittington, Assistant Chair of Critical Studies at University of Southern California writes: “(Hitchcock’s) aesthetic presents idealized castings of the human figure, which are powerful enough alone, yet he retrofits these bodies, infusing them with technology, eroticism, and discourses on pain and pleasure. At the site of this fusion, the heroic figure transforms, activating new interpretations.”

Nearly a dozen of Hitchcock sculptures are on view at Chicago’s Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M) from January 27, through June 30, 2012. Also on view are ten limited edition photographs of select works by Hitchcock, plates taken from his book, Dark Impressions, The Art of Philip Hitchcock. The artist is on hand to sign copies of his book at a free public reception at The LA &M on Friday, January 27, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. The Leather Archives & Museum is located at 6418 North Greenview Ave. in Chicago, Illinois. For additional information call 773-761-9200.

Of Myths and Mortals focuses on legendary myths borrowed from Greek, Celtic, Egyptian and Christian mythologies. Among the statues on view are Cernunnos, the horned Celtic god of fertility, Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, Prometheus, the Greek god of fire, Thor the Norse god of thunder, The Black Knight from medieval lore, and Jesus, central figure of Christianity. A selection of torsos, reminiscent of classical ruins, are also on view. The pieces created with concrete, steel, and fiberglass, start with multiple cast impressions from live models.

Of Myths and Mortals also showcases limited edition prints, signed by the artist, many of which are featured in his book Dark Impressions, The Art of Philip Hitchcock. The images are signed and numbered archival digital prints at 16 x 20″ which are framed to 22 x 28.”

About the Artist

PHDGallery owner Philip Hitchcock has challenged people with his art for over 20 years. His life-size “Christ Embracing the Cross” is part of the permanent collection at Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA) and he recently completed the portrait bust of Dr. Richard Chaifetz on permanent display at The Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

His works have been featured in solo and group exhibits and are in collections such as Leslie-Lohman Foundation, New York, NY; Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA); Mark Taper Family/Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Jewelry, Hong Kong; Barbie Benton, Aspen, CO; and Michele Rodriguez, Cagliari, Italy.

Hitchcock returned home to St. Louis in 2005. He opened PHDGallery, in April of 2007 and has curated nearly 30 exhibitions featuring artwork by regional and national artists. PHD Gallery has received critical praise from numerous media outlets including the New York Times. Hitchcock was Mr. Midwest Leather 2010 and placed in the top 20 at annual International Mr. Leather Contest held in Chicago. During his title year, Hitchcock brought the first ever exhibition of original Tom of Finland Drawings to St. Louis for a six week exhibition that met with both critical and commercial success.