Talking with Detroit-based artist Hamilton Poe is something of a circular… or perhaps spiral … process. He trails off, comes back around, picks up with something he’d said earlier… it’s conversation in three dimensions. Part of this non-linear style is due to his ADD, which he classifies as “pretty severe,” but another, and I think a bigger and more important part, is the fact that Hamilton’s brain is just busy. It’s thinking about art, or else thinking about thinking about art, or it has temporarily released its tether to the terrestrial altogether and is out exploring, waiting to see what it encounters that it can bring back down to earth as art.
His brain is hard at work all the time, much in the same way Hamilton himself is at work most of the time. He spends hundreds–thousands, even–of hours in the studio “just blatantly messing around” — trying things out, following leads, experimenting. Like his conversation, his work practice is non-linear, concept-based, and free-flowing. It is also earnest. He takes my questions, and his answers to them, very seriously–thinking about them carefully. Sometimes he talks his way into his answers, in his spiral fashion, letting his words follow the thought process around and through until he comes to what he means to say.