The Birds Will Sing
The Birds Will Sing, takes its title from the sweetly, bucolic title of an old Cajun folk song. The song, instead of following the title’s lead, is actually a murder ballad. This painting series follows in its depiction of what appears at first glance to be simply breathtaking landscapes, but which are overlaid with wistfully dark statements about contemporary love.
Huckins’ meticulously hand-painted works are sourced from public domain and museum collections of classic American paintings. These landscapes, in the tradition of the great 19th century masters like Bierstadt and The Hudson River School, are paired with text pulled from social media. These phrases appear in the texting acronyms, digital shorthand, and misspellings of current virtual communication.
The hasty text appears in sharp contrast both in form and content to these landscapes that represent an era when communication (and just about everything else) took time and had to be planned in great detail. The immediacy and speed of contemporary life deeply impacts our human connections - sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Huckins is pointedly asking if the devolution of language in the face of technological advancement weakens our ability to empathize and connect to one another in a meaningful way. Personal lives and loves are now lived publicly in a way that is completely new and yet the heartbreak of love remains a thread connecting past and present.
NOTE: All works are physical paintings, NOT digital and/or photoshopped images.