At 14 years old, Tex Hammond became the youngest ever artist to exhibit at the LA Art Show. His most recent exhibition, entitled “Major Minor,” illuminated the teen’s perspective during the pandemic.
In an interview for “LA Times Today,” Tex Hammond, now 15, talked about his process and development as an artist.
What You Need To Know
- Tex Hammond was the youngest artist to ever exhibit at the LA Art Show, at 14 years old
- Hammond sold nearly all his pieces at the 2021 show and sold 40 works at the 2022 exhibition
- Proceeds from his sales are donated to organizations like PS Arts and Black Voters Matter
- Now 15, Hammond is preparing for his first showing in New York City
Hammond spoke about how it felt to be the youngest exhibitor at the LA Art Show and his overall experience.
“Being at a convention center with all these other artists around me, but knowing I’m the youngest one in there, that was a special feeling, like a little bit of independence,” Hammond said. “My first time at the art show , I was 14. The first show I sold out every single piece, except one. In this show, I sold out 40 pieces. [When it comes to] selling the paintings, I used to not care as much, but now when I make like a painting I really, really like, it hurts to see it go but I’m glad it got sold anything like that. It’s great to know that somebody else has that now.”
Hammond, who attends the California School of the Arts, San Gabriel Valley, explained how school informs his process and refines his natural talent.
“I’ve taken finger drawing. I’m in beginners painting, and a lot of that is prepping, mixing different shades, values,” Hammond said. “I can’t stand going up to a canvas and being like, I need to get the line perfectly right there and in the perfect circle. It just comes to me. It’s like some feeling in my hand I get. I don’t really like to plan out anything. When I’m working on a big piece or if I’m just doing something tiny, it’s kind of an energy that I feel. I like putting little details and filling in the blanks and everything like that. So, when you step back from it, it all kind of comes together.”
Hammond has been creating art since he was a young child.
“I remember my first piece, which I talk about every interview,” Hammond said. “It was my mom, in LACMA, while we were eating pizza. That was the first post on Instagram I’ve ever made. I just start painting people in cafes and stuff like that, just drawing with my markers. My mom would take me to a little art store and then we’d get a few markers. I was always into very weird mediums. And I think slowly, it got more abstract. The idea of like being able to paint what you’re feeling and feel better about it after what what drew me in.”
When the pandemic forced Hammond’s schooling online, he channeled the frustration he felt into his art.
“I had struggled with online school a lot when I had to stay inside, not see any of my friends and kind of be alone in my own thoughts,” Hammond explained. “And then I had to worry about all these assignments that lost their meaning slowly. I was really frustrated, and I went inside my studio and I slowly started working and taking out all that anger on art. Painting over the homework was my favorite part. I hated the homework; it was mostly blank. Adding like this whole thing with all these different assignments leading up to this big art piece was great.”
One of Hammond’s biggest, and most honest fans is his mother.
“I am very lucky to have my mom supporting me this much,” Hammond said. “She always tells me when she doesn’t like something. I love it though. I love the real criticism. I can’t stand the fake criticism.”
Hammond is using his success to help others.
“I would feel bad if I had all this help, and then didn’t help other people that need help,” Hammond said. “I’ve donated to PS Arts, putting art in schools. I’m donating to Black Voters Matter. I don’t just want to keep all this to myself, for sure.”
Tex Hammond is currently preparing for his first exhibition in New York City. To view his past work and get updates on future exhibitions, click here.
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