During my artistic career I have consistently worked on two parallel bodies of work. In one series I construct elaborate scale models of urban spaces using ephemeral materials and record their disintegration through photography and video. In the other series I take the sets, props and experiments that I used to create the sculptures, and I photograph them on a simple white background. The images in my Sets and Tests series capture my experimentation with the crystal-forming chemicals monoammonium phosphate (MAP) and alum. I may be testing the chemical growth on various materials, whether to submerge an object in the liquid, or how various added colors might travel and disperse. The crystals grow in somewhat unpredictable ways, allowing for wonderful accidents and surprising effects.
Shifting the scale and isolating the object allows the viewer to closely observe the objects’ formal beauty, while giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the artistic process. At times the rather mundane objects from my creative process suggest grand and poetic comparisons.
Liz Hickok is a San Francisco-based artist working in photography, video, sculpture, and installation. She received her Masters of Fine Arts from Mills College in Oakland, California. Hickok grew up in Delaware before moving to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the Museum School and Tufts University for her undergraduate degrees.
Hickok’s artwork has been exhibited across the country and is included in art collections such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Blue Shield of California, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Mills College Art Museum. Her photographs and video have been shown in many Bay Area venues, including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Jose Museum of Art, the Exploratorium, Southern Exposure, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the di Rosa, and the Napa Valley Art Museum. She has also exhibited nationally at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery (NY), MASS MoCA Kidspace Gallery (MA), The Center for Fine Art Photography (CO), Pittsburg State University (KS), , Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DE), and the Susquehanna Art Museum (PA). Hickok has completed public art projects with UCSF, Mission Bay (CA), Scottsdale Public Art (AZ), and Walnut Creek Downtown (CA), and is currently showing a large-scale photo mural in Denver, Colorado.
Hickok’s Fugitive Topography: Cityscapes in Jell-O has become a popular subject of media coverage. Her work has been covered by The New York Times, Harper’s, San Francisco magazine, Gastronomica, and 7X7 magazine, and has appeared on the cover of Artweek. She has been featured on national and local news and radio programs that include the CBS Early Show, Offbeat America (HGTV), Spark* (KQED, Bay Area), All Things Considered (NPR) and Talk of the Nation (NPR). Hickok also appeared on the Food Network Awards Show, where she won an award for “Best Use of Food as Art Medium.”