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Artists Among Us: Eileen Hickey-Hulme

Originally Posted: September 09, 2010

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"Eileen Persian Rug Pink," 30" x 42", 2010, metallic c-print, metallic powder, nail polish. (All images courtesy of artist)

Continuing with our artist profiles of artists both living and working in the Hamptons, our next artist is Eileen Hickey-Hulme who lives in East Hampton.

"Explode," 2009, chrome, heavy nail polish, roses.

East Hampton - Eileen Hickey-Hulme received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Hunter College, NYC, in Painting and Art History. She also studied Ceramics with Robert Turner, Val Cushing and Ted Randall, and has worked at the Frick Art Reference Library as a Research Assistant, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as a Curatorial Assistant, and has spent the past 35 years working in the city as a fine-art painter. She also works with her husband in a 15-person architectural firm in the Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca.

Hickey-Hulme's uses radiant texture and light, as well as a personal and autobiographical touch while maintaining a rigorous and meditative quality in her pieces. She has shown in numerous exhibitions throughout New York City and the East End, and her work has also been shown in publications and feature films, including "The Dark Fields" with Robert DeNiro, "Eat, Love, Pray" with Julia Roberts, and "Six Degrees of Separation" with Will Smith.

Armed with nail polish, lipstick, eye shadow and various other unconventional materials, she says "I am an artist whose work explores fragility and exposure as influenced by modernist, feminist and Surrealist themes. I have married feminist imagery with contemporary concerns and reclaimed devalued symbols as potent and universal ones. My own investigation of art history is framed with mesmerizing, radiant and universal images of shimmering and emotionally powerful images."

"Rose Grid Surrender," 26" x 40", metal powder, oil stick, rag paper.

Featuring the rose, nude figure, fabric, rugs, and ceramics in her work she hopes to challenge the traditional way of thinking about the masculine and feminine models. Her work is influenced by Modernist, Feminist, and Surreal themes.

Active in the Women's Presidents' Organization, the New York Building Congress (NYBC), the NYBC Economic Development Committee, Professional Women in Construction, Women in Architecture, The Art Committee of the New York Women's Agenda, the Society for Marketing Professional Services, the Family Business Council, Women in the Family Business, Sky Lake Meditation Center Board of Directors and the Tribeca Community Association Steering Committee, this busy lady explains "My Landscapes are Caspar David Friedrich by way of Georgia O'Keefe and the Reverend Howard Finster, with Andy Warhol, O'Keefe and Max Ernst being my most important influences."

Artist Eileen Hickey-Hulme, with her Enduro.

Continuing she reveals "Luminous grids combine the iconic anti-formalism of the autobiographical with the rigor of Minimalism. They float between reality and abstraction. These works are lustrous and full of ruby tones, metallic notes and vibrant chroma."

When did you start making art and what medium(s) do you consider to be your roots in art?

Eileen Hickey-Hulme: I started using make-up when I was eight years old. I would take teeny seashells, glue them down, and paint them with nail polish. I am attracted to make-up for the colors, radiance, and luminescence. I'm taking girly materials and giving them new power.

What is it about the Hamptons that brought you here and enticed you to stay, work, and pursue your art here as opposed to some place else?

EHH: The sense of community, the outdoors, nature and the Marina.

How do you support yourself as an artist?

EHH: Well, for materials I have a lot of free samples with purchase, that sort of thing. All my friends give me their free samples as well. But I'm an equal opportunity, and get materials from the dollar store or high-end boutiques.

"Mme. Swann's Drawing Room-Indestructible," 4' x 5', iron, lipstick and eyeshadow, nail polish, piece, proust, steel.

Why live and work in the Hamptons as opposed to elsewhere?

EHH: Being close to the Marina where my boat resides is very important to me. I have my own little studio there where I can do my work. I am also a very active athletic person, so being close to the beach where I can surf, run, bike, and hike outdoors are a must for me.

What local environmental or historical aspects of the Hamptons do you relate to that may be reflected in your medium?

EHH: The flowers and botanical gardens. There is a picturesque ambiance in the Hamptons that I try to capture in my paintings. I did a series about the R. Memorial Garden and Three Mile Harbor.

"No Way To Go But Up," 2010, Plumbing caulk on canvas with Skulls, 8" x 10."

What artists do you feel have influenced you and your work?

EHH: Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein directly influence my work, their colors, shape and illustrations can be found in my work. I often borrow their images and give them a new meaning in a new atmosphere.

What advice would you give an emerging artist?

EHH: To paint every day. I often put 12 hour days in the studio by myself. It can be hard but it is the most important thing. It eventually paid off with the fabulous work that I have now.

What gives you an edge (if any)?

EHH: My wardrobe is full of surprises and juxtapositions, like my art. My look is about power and beauty, but it doesn't define me. My message to women is to embrace the iconography that empowers them.

What are you working on now, and are you involved in any upcoming shows or exhibitions?

EHH: I am working on a collaboration with photographer Alex La Cruz. We are doing collages with my portraits and painting them with nail polish, ranging in sizes from 10 x 8 inches to 4 x 5 feet.

For more information on this artist go to www.eileenhickey-hulme.com.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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