Thanatos, 2012. Nylon, steel, and spandex, 16 x 36 x 24 ft. Photo: © Nick Merrick, Hall+Merrick Photographers

Breaking Constraints: A Conversation with Jamie Hamilton

Jamie Hamilton’s work encompasses photography, drawing, high-wire walking, and, of course, sculpture. His large-scale, site-specific installations (2012) for the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, incorporated nylon webbing and steel poles, creating forms suggestive of both interplanetary travel and the complexities of erotic attraction. Works from a few years later explored what he calls “the interaction of invisible force with tangible material,” with mirrors and glass hinting at infinite space. More recent sculptures, made after he moved from New Mexico to Los Angeles in 2016, have taken a baroque turn, still using adventurous materials (rubber, dichroic glass, neodymium), but enlivened by grace notes of shimmering color and dazzling reflections. All of Hamilton’s endeavors, including work in a community garden, are buttressed by an extremely thoughtful and philosophically inclined worldview.

Ann Landi: Your parents, Bruce Hamilton and Susanna Carlisle, are artists who have worked in many mediums, but most recently they’ve established a solid reputation in video. How did that affect you as a child?
Jamie Hamilton:
I grew up in a remote area outside of Santa Fe, surrounded by the creation of art objects. Even our house was handmade by my parents. It was very unusual—a hybrid of Pueblo architecture with lightweight tensile structures . . .

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