Sol grew up in the arts. His parents were artists and opened the first contemporary art gallery in Santa Fe, NM. His early memories were of his parents in their studios and of Hill’s Gallery. The mysterious objects that pervaded the gallery intrigued him. Looking at those artworks felt like observing some secret alchemical language that he wanted to learn because it seemed this language could translate both the physical and immaterial.
Sol wanted to major in Art in college, but switched to International Affairs and German Studies at Lewis & Clark trying to “do something practical” as his parents wished. Afterward he built earthen and straw bale homes before co-founding Zen Stone Lighting, a lighting design company, with his wife, a former paper artist from Brazil.
After an intense medical crisis, Sol dedicated himself to pursuing art full time. He earned an MFA in Photographic Arts at Brooks Institute and has been working full time as an artist since 2010, still seeking to decipher that alchemical language.
Sol divides his artistic practice between working with contemporary digital imaging technology to create what he call Metagraphs, a mixed media hybrid that exploits a digital sensor’s sensitivity to energies other than light in order to record visible artifacts hinting at the energetic nature of the universe we inhabit, and by using art as a form of activism through creating hard hitting social justice art installations with strong presence.
Sol Hill’s camera-based artwork is a form of technological mysticism, capturing images from the world, but showing us an alternate vision, full of errant visual incidents and covert meanings. The artist allows both reality and his intuitive intentions to reveal themselves with an unexpected poignancy. His process is both technological and poetic, showing the limits of the visible and the possibilities of seeing beyond it.
Hill refers to his digitally captured photographs as “Metagraphs” because he employs digital sensors to record energies both visible and invisible to the human eye. He permits a variety of digital noise – extraneous energy in the form of electromagnetic energies, heat, and cosmic rays – to affect the image. Purist traditionalists might consider this technique a “false exposure”. However,
the process he employs alters recognizable forms, producing a kind of meta-vision and revealing aspects of reality that we do not normally see. In this way he expands his vision and gives the viewer a look into a vast mysterious zone beyond our limited perception. These complex but meditative images, connected by components of science and spirituality are immersed in a palpable sense of time, absorbing viewers in a rewarding experience. Hill’s “Metagraphic” works are a fusion of science, technology, spirituality and art, tangibly presenting an a visual thumbprint of the energetic nature of the universe in extraordinarily beautiful images.
Cinematic and painterly, Hill’s dream-like digital images, have a presence that holds the viewer in a mesmerizing, momentary gaze. This unusual visual sensation is partly the result of his meta-visual digital capture process, then enhanced by an exceptionally skillful application of traditional presentation and archival methods. The counter-point of tradition and ambiguity results in a stunning image. Particularly, his figurative images imply a kind of passage across states of human existence. Anonymity in a variety of dramatic settings, is transfigured by both light and unknown energies. Individual identities subsumed in a field of scintillating particles. In all of Hill’s works, the viewer gets a glimpse of an existential, ephemeral world. There’s a life brilliantly present but mysteriously immersed in time beyond ordinary reality.
Social Distancing Collaboration Special Offer
I would like to offer you, my collectors and fans a special very low price collaboration to reinforce our sense of connection.
If you email me a photograph of yourself or someone you love, I will create an artwork blending your photo with a Metagraph I create based on your image. The result will be a blended energetic portrait of you and/or your loved one(s). Send any favorite portrait, selfie or a photo of what you are doing during this period of social distancing. I will mail a hand varnished print on Japanese paper.
After the crisis I would like to exhibit works created by this collaboration as a celebration and testament of the positive qualities of the human spirit and how we can choose connection over division when we really need to.