Lisson Gallery

Meet Hugh Hayden’s Lurking 'Boogey Man' - Interview Magazine

9 March 2022

Writer and Curator Alexandre Stipanovich speaks with Hugh Hayden in Interview Magazine about 'Boogey Men', currently on view at ICA Miami. Hayden discusses the ghosts born out of the American Dream, and objects that can draw one into a nightmare. An excerpt from the interview is included below:

ALEXANDRE STIPANOVICH: “Boogey Man” is incredible. I want to ask you about the titular piece, the hooded car. There’s a police car under the ghost draping. How did this idea come about? Why did you use steel this time?

HUGH HAYDEN: Thanks for asking me to speak about the exhibition! As I mature as an artist, I’m moving away from saying, “This means this, and that means that.” However, it’s impossible for an artist’s work to be completely abstract and devoid of all meaning. I kind of like everyone to have a different perspective. But I’ve had the idea of this piece for a while…more than four years. I made some maquettes based on toy police cars that I had purchased online. I explored using plaster bandages to get a sense of what it might look like. Does the idea translate? Is it successful? While the work itself is not made out of wood, this piece is in a way similar to the skillet pieces of pots and pans, where I recast African masks into metal. In that way, there is an original, historical form that is reshaped and slightly abstracted into metal. You still have some facsimile of the thing that’s being referenced, but you’re also transforming it into something else. It wasn’t a huge leap. I mean, mainly it was the scale that was a challenging.

STIPANOVICH: Can you comment on the piece’s title?

HAYDEN: Do police in this country create ghosts? Or are they also ghosts themselves, you know? It’s about perspective. “Boogey Man” is something a child would say, versus an adult. Who would call a police officer a Boogey Man? Who would be raised to think that this person is a monster? There is a particular style of police car, the Crown Victoria, that was everywhere during my adolescence in Dallas. That style of police car represents a particular era—[in the exhibition,] we’ve actually distorted it. It’s 75% smaller than the real car, and it’s deliberately out of proportion between the length and the height to give a more cartoony impression. That it makes it more humorous and fun. People still think there’s a car under it, and they can’t imagine that it’s metal either.

Read the full conversation in Interview Magazine here.

Hugh Hayden: Boogey Man is on view until 17 April 2022. Find further information via the ICA Miami.

Meet Hugh Hayden’s Lurking 'Boogey Man' - Interview Magazine
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