Artist: Kendall Hill
Host: Abby Chambers

Chicken Shack, Collage, paper, and leather



More than other mediums, collage begins with the sourcing of material. Artist Kendall Hill sources material with patience, stumbling upon material out in the world or on Craigslist.

A Word on Craigslist and Prayer for Us: Craigslist posts littered with typos, bad lighting, and cursed images feel softly human against the one-click shopping flashed upon us by an algorithm trying to predict and design our desires. May we strive to build more community-driven digital spaces that tangibly link to physical-human connections and may we shop less on @m*z0n.

For Chicken Shack (2020), paper pieces were sourced from a Craigslist collection of now-defunct art magazines and the window mount from another post. There are pieces from an order of Harold’s Chicken, a beloved Chicago establishment. Leather bits came from a local business as well, one piece just missing its destiny as a basketball.
(my illustration of basketballs bouncing between realms)

Hill does not create a collage in one sitting, he builds the layers slowly over days, extending that timeline his process begins with observant sourcing.


Momentum is evoked by the composition and depicted literally in the center figure. Though clearly leaping to one side, the split face looks outside to the viewer and a large glove points diagonally to the jumping body’s starting launch point.

There is a mixture in eras communicated: an old-fashioned baseball uniform juxtaposes a modern face. A confusion to a binary gender lens: female face? male body? is gender identified by parts, a hierarchy of parts, or through the whole? through the body at all? The figure’s blackness also transcends singularity, in Hill’s words, “It’s like the person or people depicted in the piece can totally be me, but also they represent a lot of people like me or the collective Black self through many people in the diaspora.” He continues describing how the figure at once includes him, a collective Black self, and further a possible aspirational self.

The background contains images that evoke untouched nature stacked against parts of take-out packaging. The active figure compounds the ephemeral feeling, a journey not a destination, but in balance there is a vertical block of solid black paper creating a space for still silence.

I’d like to include other artists’ renditions of movement within the spectrum of sports but I imagine copyrights will not allow, so imagine:

<Leroy Neiman golf painting> <Jonas Wood basketball print>

Some artists allude to movement through sport, but Hill alludes to the greater humanity and philosophy of sports with sport references. I think this is only otherwise accomplished by renditions of boxing, a sport that already feels art, (George Bellows, for example) or film, so imagine:

<sports movie>< ESPN 30 for 30 episode>

(Wikipedia entry for ‘Sport’ edited with the ‘FaceTune’ app)


Inevitably the timing of this project is difficult to ignore, which of course is marked by the shadow of pandemic. The fluidity of our perception has always been a truth, but feels especially apt when a global virus halts our normative sense of time and the flaws in our country’s quiet structures rise to sharp focus as their fragility is displayed before our eyes. At this time solid, binary paradigms feel especially broken.

Artists see the undercurrents then articulate them in work that can surpass their time of creation. Chicken Shack gathers and organizes pieces of material anchored in Hill’s day-to-day and arrives at something that feels poignant about our grander reality. Our perception is always shifting and moving, making life and truth so many things at once. What a pleasure it is to have artists in the world to help us see it.

Thank you Kendall.

—Abby Chambers