Present Tense

The Art of Memphis, 2001-Now

Jan Hankins
acrylic on canvas, 72x96

Artist Jan Hankins

Courtesy of the artist

A native Memphian, Hankins attended the Memphis College of Art in the early 1970's, then known locally as simply 'The Art Academy'. Since that time he has shown widely, developing a reputation as an artist engaging complex issues and political topics. Hankins's painting 9-1-1 was motivated by both the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11th, 2001, and war in the Middle East. A matrix of pipes inspired by isometric drawings found in engineering textbooks resembles an oil refinery engulfed in flames. Composed within the fire is the rendering of a wolf's head baring its fangs. Also hidden in the composition is a stylized Rebel flag in an allusion to what Hankins describes as "the Southern addiction to fast gas hungry cars. The horns are taken from an old hot rod parts catalog. They play Dixie in a never ending dirge of a lost cause."

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