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Saturday, June 15, 2024

A slam dunk!

Caiden Cawthon
Caiden Cawthon
Caiden Cawthon is a legally blind writer who seeks to shine a light on that not readily seen, and can be found on Instagram at @caidencawthon.

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Kenneth Hordge stands in front of his art on display at Gallery Forty-Two. (Photo/Leo Soyfer)

Last Friday night local artist Kenneth Hordge, better known as FINGERCREATIONS, saw the classy Gallery Forty-Two filled to the brim with lovers of basketball and art as he heralded the start of a number of upcoming events with his NBA All-Star themed exhibition “For the Love of the Game”. The red carpet was rolled out, and it seemed everyone wanted in, with both floors of the gallery being jam-packed with people taking in his daunting works. I sat down with FINGERCREATIONS to discuss his practice, and he explained just what made this exhibition such a slam dunk!

For though this was his first solo show, his work has been held in numerous galleries and private collections, included those owned by NBA players and celebrities. Such an extensive amount of success has allowed him to truly perfect his craft, the creation of large scale photorealistic portrait art using simply his fingers. He first draws out the portrait, before applying oil pastels with his bare hands, ensuring each piece is truly personal. Once this is done, he completes his piece with what has become a characteristic of his work, an array of broken glass suspended in an epoxy resin.

Attendees view Hordge’s art. (Photo/Leo Soyfer)

The effect of this final layer was truly astounding to witness, as the reflective nature of the glistening glass on the these legends of basketball was reminiscent of sweat dripping down their focused and fierce faces. It was such that in his works effort and triumph were captured, plain and simple. A prime example of the art spoken of in Susan Sontag’s essay “Against Interpretation,” FINGERCREATIONS works were exceptionally experiential. There was no deeper meaning, for there was no need for deeper meaning, it was skill and action which were being conveyed, with the artist succinctly stating, he’s just “capturing a moment that looks dope”.

Yet, the significance of his work does not escape him. When asked about his thoughts on portraying various black leaders and cultural champions, including the likes of actress and film producer Viola Davis, boxer Muhammad Ali, and rapper Tupac Shakur, he said that “it feels great to be able to depict such great black influencers we have a rich culture that the world loves and to be able to capture some of the greats the way I do is a blessing in itself”. He found the amplification of black voices and black culture to be of particular importance in the present, stating that GANGGANG Culture, the Indiana-based, nationally renowned organization dedicated to equity in the arts which hosts the BUTTER Fine Art Fair, “couldn’t have come at a better time”.

For he believes Indiana to have large amount of untapped potential when it comes to the arts. That, though typically overshadowed by larger cultural centers such as Chicago, he has confidence that “we have artists here who can hold their own against big city artists,” describing the local arts scene as being “on the rise” and being filled with “great artists doing big things”. FINGERCREATIONS’ show is certainly a testament to the creative power held in Indiana, and will surely see an influx of visitors as the NBA All-Star Game brings in people from far and wide.

Kenneth Hordge and Caiden Cawthon (Photo/Leo Soyfer)
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