Like many introductions in our modern world, I first ‘met’ Kevin Hoth on Facebook. I’d been on the hunt for local artists, and as we were both attending an upcoming event at BMOCA, I reached out. Perusing his website, I was immediately struck by the work; as individual reactions to art are completely subjective, Kevin’s photographs are definitely ‘my style’.
My style of art involves a fair amount of grit. I resonate with pieces that are atmospheric, with subject matter that is a little edgy, a little lonely and depicting objects not traditionally beautiful: a dirty puddle on concrete, a broken fence, a rundown motel room, a trashy neon sign, a plastic tarp playing in the breeze. Kevin’s subject matter represents, I would maintain, the beautifully un-beautiful.
According to the artist himself, he’s attracted to strangeness, a not uncommon theme for a photographer. Kevin isn’t photographing what’s typical- the back of a sign, for example. He’s compelled by incredible color, especially those that are ‘violently beautiful’, and by spaces that ‘open up to the viewer’. He says ‘I like pictures that trail off into infinity in a way – they let your mind open up and cover some distance away from yourself.’ The ‘West’ looms large in his portfolio, specifically ‘strong contrasts between the landscape and our presence.’
Kevin received his MFA in photography from the University of Washington where the trend of that time was in studio work and direction, not the spontaneous picture-making that has become his signature and the easiest way for him to communicate. Getting lost in time and dissolving into the space with his camera, he connects with outside world, to its humor, its loneliness, its expansion. And he allows us this connection as well.