My work combines both photographs and collage-based elements. They act as both portrait and poster, combining advertising elements of the past, specifically blackface minstrel shows, with contemporary digital technology. These elements are placed to obscure or reveal the facial features central to depictions of the minstrel (eyes, mouth) as areas that are differentiated from the rest of the mask. These “faces” are composites that comment on the spectacular history of the Minstrel Show as it has played such a prominent role in the development of media images of African-Americans. The multi-layered elements that build up these images shake the unsteady ground of the racist spectacle. Pairing old images with new marks forces one to consider the spectacle, not only as it existed in the 19th century, but to consider the ways in which the ghosts of the past haunt our perceptions in the present.
Wayne Hodge received his MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2001 and his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1998. Hodge has exhibited his work at the Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, CA), Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (Peekskill, NY), Rush Arts, Smack Mellon, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Bronx Museum (all in NYC). He was an artist in residence at the Center for Book Arts, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, among others. Hodge has been the recipeint of a NYFA fellowhsip and a Creative Capital Foundation Grant.