Armed with nail polish, lipstick, eye shadow and various other unconventional media, artist Eileen Hickey-Hulme creates her pearlescent, abstract images often juxtaposing images of power with those of fragility.
I came to NYC when I was 18, alone and pregnant, with just $250 in my pocket to meet Jackson Pollock.
I got my first art scholarship when I was 9 and attended the Saturday Morning Art Classes at the Albright Knox Art Gallery in my fabulous hometown, Buffalo, NY, the “Queen City of the Great Lakes”.
I started using make-up to make art when I was eight years old. I would take teeny seashells and glue them down on my paintings and Florida postcards and paint them with nail polish. I am attracted to make-up for the colors, radiance and luminescence they possess. I’m taking “girly” materials and giving them new power.
My guns, roses and images of myself explore feminist imagery as influenced by modernist, feminist and Surrealist themes. I have married contemporary concerns with traditional structure, ie central imagery ie religious icons, all over imagery ie Persian carpets and reclaimed devalued symbols such as tattoo art, china painting and fabric design, as potent and universal ones. My own investigation of art history is filled with mesmerizing, radiant images of shimmering and emotionally powerful icons, which shape our reality.
Instead of allowing all of her troubles to drag her down, she is viewing her circumstances as an opportunity to make a shift in the world. She is fighting back and saying “Hell YEAH!” starting a foundation of the same name in order to empower others who have been victims of tenant abuse, domestic violence, police brutality, and other ills of society. Having lost the love of her life recently and being evicted as a victim of fraud, Eileen has channeled her energies into renewing her art life.
Now embracing stand-up comedy as her outlet, Eileen has found a new group to connect to. Her previous artwork has been featured in galleries and movies, including The Dark Fields” with Robert DeNiro, “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts, and “Six Degrees of Separation” with Will Smith. Utilizing nontraditional media, including nail polish, lipstick, and eye shadow, Eileen Hickey-Hulme explores fragility and exposure as influenced by modernist, feminist and Surrealist themes in her paintings.
“I want to paint things that are seen, but not seen.”
Her work with the Cooper Square organization has continued through these challenging times. She has been away from the public eye for a bit, Eileen has anticipated questions about just what she has been up to, and truth is stranger than fiction! Her husband, who struggled for years with mental illness and was abusive towards Eileen, destroyed their shared property before being committed to a psych ward. With this happening, he is still taking everything from Eileen in the divorce. On top of that, her landlord used fraudulent means in an attempt to evict Eileen through divorce court.
This whole mess has only made Eileen realize how unkind the world can be towards women. Instead of giving up, the Hell Yeah Foundation has brought Eileen new purpose and she seeks to strengthen bonds between women and increasing healthy prenuptial discussions.
You can learn more about Eileen Hickey and her artwork by visiting www.EileenHickey.com and her Facebook page: Eileen Hickey-Hulme. To learn more about the Hell Yeah foundation, please visit www.hellyeahfoundation.org