Caleb Hahne is a recent grad (he’s the kind of 21 year old that makes me feel like I’ve done nothing with the same number of years) from the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design whose work revolves around the utilisation of technology and traditional techniques to confront the allure of a blooming cyber media. Or, in more practical terms, he creates mixed media collages that borrow from classical antiquity, internet culture as well as art theory.
“Mocking life while imitating figures in a relatable, distant, and monumental state is what haunts me, and I love it.”
Caleb merges images of Greco-Roman statues digitally and then transfers that image using good old fashioned pencil and paper, before interrupting the line with intrusions of other media. These new composite images, through quality of line and composition, have a certain fluidity, as if the new conglomerate were moving as one in multiple directions even if you know the case not to be true or possible. The technical aspect of this style harks back to the master draughtsmen of the renaissance whilst drawing from the modernists in the sense that even if these aren’t readymade objects they’re readymade images within the audience – it is impossible to shake the fact that you are aware that these are drawings of images of statues which are unmistakably the work of someone else and which have been etched onto your cultural consciousness through years of societal programming.
“The internet seems infinite, and it acts as a purgatory for cyber-souls”
Caleb draws inspiration from his relationship with technology as a child of the internet age (Caleb was born in 1993), the graffiti art he saw as a child, as well as more theoretical sources such as the ideas found in texts such as ‘7 Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries’, ‘The Broken Frame’, and ‘The Poetics of Space’. He uses his art a way of drawing out the questions he has from life, and the aforementioned texts, but leaves much of the interpretation of any potential answer in the eye of the beholder.
“I’m currently interested in light as a metaphor of life, and how my stone figures mock life as they sit in a state of infinite death.”
As well as putting work online on his website and across social media, Caleb was recently invited to be part of a group show at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco, alongside: Marco Mazzoni, Shawn Huckins, Meryl Pataky and many more.