The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists

By Robert Craig Bunch | Go to book overview

Tracy Hicks

Received August 8, 2012
Born 1946, San Antonio; lived in Bakersville, North Carolina,
died October 24, 2014

Figure 34. Tracy Hicks, Two Cultures: Collection (detail), 2005–2006

Cast rubber and pigments, room-sized installation
Courtesy of Victoria L. Hicks, Administrator,
Estate of Valton Tracy Hicks Jr.

Photograph: Tracy Hicks

Q Why do frogs loom so large in your art and your consciousness? Do you still collect frogs?

A Vulnerability! Mortality is inevitable. While we accept the cycles of life as a basic premise, through most of our lives we feel invulnerable and choose to ignore changes within the cycles of life.

Frogs are one group of animals that closely mimic our evolution from egg to birth. So they have become a basic learning and teaching tool for anatomy and genetics. Frogs’ eggs are large, easy to see with low magnification, and so are often used to correlate the human development hidden within the womb. In other words, we can interpolate our development in their development. But there is also a catch-22 to that situation. One specific aquatic frog, the xenopus from South Africa, breeds easily in captivity, in huge quantities, and produces disproportionately large eggs. So they became a standard for genetic studies. Then in the late 1960s someone realized that by dripping woman’s urine on the female xenopus, if the woman was pregnant the frog would immediately start producing eggs. So the xenopus quickly became an inexpensive way to test for pregnancy. To help control a too-quickly-expanding human population, xenopus were spread out all through the third world. The catch is that in their natural environment of small ponds in South Africa, the xenopus had developed a potent defense to their predators, the large African bullfrog. To keep the bullfrogs out of the ponds, xenopus have developed a symbiotic relationship with a fungus that is deadly to most other frogs.

Personal vulnerability I have experienced more than I care to describe in detail. But two near-death experiences have focused my consciousness on the relationship between individual and collective vulnerability and

-73-

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The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Margaret Adie 9
  • Helen Altman 12
  • Celia Álvarez Muñoz 14
  • The Art Guys- Michael Galbreth 17
  • Jack Massing 19
  • Frances Bagley 22
  • Karin Broker 25
  • Maureen Brouillette 28
  • Steve Brudniak 31
  • Margarita Cabrera 35
  • Eugene W. R. Campbell Jr 38
  • Danville Chadbourne 40
  • Claire Cusack 46
  • Robert Dampier 48
  • Roberto del Rio 51
  • Martin Delabano 54
  • Vernon Fisher 58
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock 60
  • Vincent Hannemann 62
  • Ann Harithas 66
  • Dana Harper 69
  • Joseph Havel 71
  • Tracy Hicks 73
  • Paul Horn 77
  • Otis Huband 79
  • Christopher Hynes 81
  • Barbara Irwin 83
  • Joy Jenkins 85
  • Norman Kary 89
  • Mimi Kato 93
  • Sharon Kopriva 96
  • Laura Jean Lacy 98
  • Marilyn Lanfear 101
  • Lance Letscher 104
  • Ken Little 106
  • Bert L. Long Jr 111
  • Jesse Lott 115
  • Edward Lane McCartney 117
  • Mary McCleary 121
  • Leila McConnell 124
  • Kelly O’Connor 127
  • Mari Omori 129
  • Kathleen Packlick 131
  • Angelica Paez 134
  • Kevin Parmer 136
  • Forrest Prince 139
  • Russell Prince 142
  • Dario Robleto 144
  • Aaron Roe 147
  • Jonathan Rosenstein 149
  • John Mark Sager 151
  • Joel Sampson 154
  • Ward Sanders 156
  • Luke Savisky 158
  • Kelly Sears 163
  • Al Souza 165
  • Julie Speed 167
  • James Michael Starr 169
  • Henry Stein 173
  • Gary Sweeney 175
  • Cecil Touchon 177
  • Patrick Turk 181
  • Janet L. Waldrop 184
  • Debbie Wetmore 186
  • Steve Wiman 188
  • Sources and Further Reading 191
  • Index 199
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