‘No Kings But Us’ to open at Marfa Open

HodgeKerr, “No Kings But Us,” mixed media collaboration, 2023. Courtesy of HodgeKerr and Marfa Open.

MARFA –– No Kings But Us by HodgeKerr is a collaboration between Robert Hodge (Houston) and Tim Kerr (Austin). Individually, their work is steeped in the rich history between music and pop culture, and they also share a deep interest in racial equality and human rights. Hodge and Kerr have long admired one another, from color palette to messaging to medium, and they have come together to entwine their creative vision.

The large scale artworks in the Marfa Open show are a collaboration by the artists from different generations, with different urban stories, but with a common power and force of color and expression.  Music, history, humanity, politics, energy and color clash and harmonize on the 12 large canvases. Both artists also have a room to show their individual art style. There will be a celebration of late nights at the gallery with music and sponsorship from Red Bull, Chateau Wright, and Marfa Art Supply creative stations as another collaborative part of the show.

Hodge brings his signature collage work using screen print and record covers with stencil and stitching that creates sumptuous layers and gritty textures. His influences range from African American history, narrowing to the historical 3rd Ward of Houston, sweeping across the jazz landscape to dwell in southern hip hop culture.

Kerr brings his singular portraits, political messaging and vibrant colors. Also influenced by his own musical history and his iconic voice in the early days of INDY and DIY, to the blues, free jazz and the sounds of Irish folk music. His great affection for sharing messages from historical voices, from Rosa Parks to John Coltrane to the multitudes in between, appears in almost every piece.

This collaboration rocks with color. Musical voices are lavishly layered in historical context. The chemistry between Robert Hodge and Tim Kerr glimmers on the canvas, creating a visible synergy far beyond the sum of its parts.

The show opens at Marfa Open at 7 p.m. on Thursday with the opening running through the weekend.