Artists consumer reports

Consumer Reports: Erika Hickle

Erika Hickle ARTIST

Erika Hickle ARTIST

Erika Hickle is an artist living and working in New York City. Hickle has shown at 321 Gallery in Brooklyn, Material Art Fair in Mexico City, and recently at Bug, a new online gallery run by the artist Quintessa Matranga. She will have a two-person show with Raque Ford at Kimberly Klark gallery in Ridgewood, Queens, in December.

Hickle’s Consumer Report takes us back to simpler times—two months ago—and reveals an interest in the Netflix series Witches of East End as well as a bit of an obsession with the German electro-pop group Gina X. There are also dream reports and dispatches from the studio, Goodwill, and a very large salad bar. All that and more, below! —John Chiaverina

Monday, Labor Day, September 5

12:13 a.m.

Watching YouTube videos at Gwen and Phil’s place. Phil takes us through a jarring range of videos.

–Transformation scene from Hellraiser II.
–Intro to the television show The Nanny (Gwen and Raque’s request).
–Opening scene from Saturday Night Fever, John Travolta carrying a bucket of paint.
–Some freaky scene where a guy gets his spinal cord ripped out (don’t ever want to
watch this again, so I didn’t make note of what film it was from).
–To calm the nerves, we watch a video of an autumn forest, with extra leaf crunching.

Gwen makes us tequila sours, they are delicious, we call them “MINT, by GWEN” because they have a mint on top.

9:00 a.m.

Alarm goes off. Instagram. I forget if I have to work today or tomorrow, text Lydia, she replies “tomorrow.”

11:00 a.m.

Drinking coffee, my boyfriend Ben puts on Broadcast, he tells me that the lead singer, Trisha Keenan, died in 2011 of swine flu complications, it makes me really sad. The record we are listening to was released posthumously.

12:24 p.m.



1:00 p.m.

Ben and I ride our bikes to the West Indian Day Parade. We try to meet up with Raque and
Tom, but there are so many people we didn’t even really bother to really look. Raque sends this to the group chat:

We never find Raque or Ronald.

Ben and I buy a sugarcane, cashew, date, and ginger drink from a man in a suit, it tastes like a milkshake.

3:05 p.m.

Back at home for some allergy medication, lay in bed and close my eyes.

3:25 p.m.

Reading several articles about the Guardian Angels, whom I had seen walking in the parade. They stood out because there were only 5 or 6 of them wearing jeans and T-shirts, as opposed to the large groups dancing in beautiful costumes beside glittering floats. Here are a couple pictures of the Guardian Angels in the ’80s on the NYC subway. Apparently, it was revealed that some early interventions had been staged for publicity.



Photos by: Geoffrey Hiller
5:16 p.m.

In studio
Google search:
The name Mary,
Circle of stars
Black and white sea shells

5:20 p.m.

Looking, through my “creation” folder on my desktop. I once told a friend that “creation” was the name of the folder where I keep my library of source images, he told me never to tell anyone that.


Screenshot from Etsy in “creation” folder.

8:00 p.m.

Eating burgers with Ben and Chris, The Clean comes on over the bar’s loud speakers.

8:40 p.m.

Raque texts me a picture of her new couch, I say I like it.

9:27 p.m.

My little sister sends me this video.

Tuesday, September 6

8:22 a.m.

Ben accidentally woke me up when he left for work. I am drinking coffee.

8:33 a.m.

Listening to music on YouTube and start making a video compilation.

I accidentally make the playlist in Ben’s YouTube account, we share a computer, it happens a lot.

9:13 a.m.

Do a reverse Google search of an image I have in my creation folder… It’s Jeanne Mammen, I downloaded a lot of her work several months ago. I re-read her Wiki page.


Jeanne Mammen.

10:24 a.m.

Text the group chat that we should have a goth Halloween party. No response.

11:19 a.m.

Working on a resume and cover letter.

11:34 a.m.

Sent out resume and cover letter.

11:36 a.m.

My eye is twitching.

11:44 a.m.

Waiting on the subway platform for the train, there are only a few people on the platform, so it looks like it is going to take a while. There is a train stopped on the center track, it’s one of those trains that holds trash cans, surprisingly it doesn’t smell.

12:00 p.m.

A woman with five red and black nautical stars tattooed on her leg is dropping her hair in her baby’s face, the baby squeals with joy.

12:04 p.m.

The subway car is full of children, one little girl is proudly wearing a pink cowboy hat.

12:10 p.m.

Leaving the train I see a woman wearing a shirt that reads “Stay Calm and Play Dead.” It has a picture of a bear on it. My mother would describe this women as granola.

12:14 p.m.

Arrive in Midtown.

12:25 p.m.

Shopping at the Goodwill, OMI “Cheerleader” is playing over the sound system. I buy a pair of flared dark wash jeans. They are about 4 inches too long. I will have to either get them hemmed or just cut them myself, most likely the latter.

12:50 p.m.

It’s NYFW and there are models everywhere!

1:15 p.m.

I go to this deli on Sixth Street, it is the largest hot bar and salad bar selection I have ever found in New York (maybe the Whole Foods one is bigger, but that doesn’t really count). The deli reminds me of this story my mom used to read to me about a mother who leaves her seven children at home while she goes to get food for them. A witch comes by the house and transforms the children into food and is about to eat them when the mother comes home. The mother has to guess which of her child was turned into what food for them to be turned back to children.

I run into my friend Alan at the deli, he works in the same building as me. He is getting a soup and sandwich combo, I am getting a salad thing. Jackie Pooh is playing on the loud speakers. Alan looks stressed.

1:30 p.m.

I arrive at Lydia’s studio, her studio is an island in a sea of wholesale purse shops. Lydia told me that she once purchased a single purse, I was very impressed, the “Wholesale Only” signs on the doors look foreboding enough not to test.

5:35 p.m.

A woman is singing opera on the subway platform, I don’t see her.

5:50 p.m.

Meet Ben in Chinatown, we are getting dinner at Spicy Village. Ben works as an AM cook for a restaurant in SoHo. He is tired.

7:32 p.m.

Ben rides his bike home, I am taking the train. I try to read my book, but I am too full and distracted. I really like this book, but it is taking me a while to finish. It’s Nochita by Dia Felix. I found it in a Williamsburg bookstore on the employee-recommended table. On the back of the book it also has a written recommendation by one of my favorite authors, Mary Gaitskill.

One of my favorite lines so far:

“Mr. Pinks, A Pig. Rest in Peace. He died as he lived—hysterical.”

8:23 p.m.


9:37 p.m.

Watching Witches of East End. It’s on Netflix. Don’t know anyone aside from me and Ben that watches this show. It’s like a soap but with witches, although it gets surprisingly dark sometimes. Here is the last scene we watch: One of the witches sleepwalks into a surrounding forest and then into the arms of a humanoid monster. She starts kissing this monster thing and tentacles start coming out of the monster’s back. He then starts caressing her body with his tentacles, there are a couple shots of the tentacles going under her robe.

Wednesday, September 7

9:15 a.m.

I had a really strange dream. I was riding my bike around Brooklyn, trying to find this nail salon called “You’ve Got Nail” (it’s a real place) and got lost. I started speaking Spanish with a man who almost ran me over with his light blue vintage convertible V.W. Bug. He was asking me how to get to the beach, I show him and then head to the beach myself.

I am riding down a large hill, (I am now in Southern California) and once I get to the shore, I look down the coastline and see a large fire. Injured and crying people are swimming towards me. I run towards them trying to help. The water is stained red.

Rob Lowe is there dressed in a Dracula costume, he is not helping.

9:20 a.m.

Coffee and Instagram.

10:27 a.m.

Was thinking about that Jackie Pooh song I heard at the deli when I saw Alan. I google “jackie pooh song.” Turns out it’s Jackie Blue, I guess that make more sense. The song makes me think of my Aunt Jackie.

10:45 a.m.

I put on a tight black T-shirt, it’s more like a tank top with the slightest suggestion of a cap sleeve. I feel like a soft short version of Joan Jett.

11: 47 a.m.

Studio is a mess. Start to clean up.

11:51 a.m.

Re-reading Salome and Judas in the Cave of Sex by Ewa Kuryluk for a project I am doing. The chapter on Caves isn’t as informative as I remembered, I look through the images, there are some great Aubrey Beardsley prints…

4:00 p.m.

I work at a French Bistro in Brooklyn, it’s the oldest restaurant on the block. It is a good 50/50 percent mixture of faux-aging effects and actual aging and disrepair. I wear a traditional bistro uniform: white collared shirt, black bottoms, and a long white apron. My apron is usually ketchup stained.

10:45 p.m.

A girl sits alone outside, it’s still really hot out. She is wearing a beige long-sleeve unitard with a plunging v-neck, white skinny jeans, and statement earrings. Her eyeliner is winged out almost to her hairline. She tells me she is starving. She is on her phone, facetiming someone, I don’t see who the other person is, just see that someone’s ceiling. She asks for a piña colada, I tell her we don’t have any, but offer her a daiquiri, she just gets water instead. She orders three dishes and doesn’t finish any of them, when I take her unfinished plates back to the kitchen, chef asks why she didn’t like it, I tell him I think she is stoned.

1:34 a.m.

Ben and I are at a bar around the corner from my work, lately we have been doing this after I get off of work on Wednesdays. It’s nice, the bar is always almost empty and they stay open til 3:00. Ben is telling me about George Orwell’s memoir Down and Out in Paris and London, it’s about his experience being a dishwasher and other things.

1:56 a.m.

A guy with long sandy blonde hair goes up to a girl with maroon hair with side bangs, dark-rimmed glasses, and a large arm tattoo. She is drinking red wine, he a beer. As we leave the bar, we overhear that they are talking about music.

We ride our bikes home, the streets are empty and quiet.

Thursday, September 8

11:02 a.m.

On Zara website. A bartender I work with, who also has very small feet, told me to look at Zara’s kids selection for shoes. I don’t like any of the kids shoes–too “kid shoe.” Looking at the women’s shoe selection, imaging what my life would be like with pointy high-heeled shoes.

11:26 a.m.

Decide to do laundry instead of going to the studio before work today. Listening to this podcast called Sword and Scale as I do laundry. I started listening to this podcast about a couple of weeks ago. I learned about it while reading the comments section of a story about the longest Munchausen by proxy case ever encountered. The story is too long and complicated to describe but if you want to read about the story google Gypsy Rose Munchausen.

Listening to my second episode when I decide to never listen to this podcast again. It’s too dark and one-sided, and often the cases deal with severely depressed or emotionally unstable people who really needed support from their community and were failed, but the show just literally calls them monsters. Although some of the people are just totally sadistic, so I guess some are monsters.

12:38 p.m.

Text my brother, Happy Birthday!

4:00 p.m.

Working at the restaurant.

7:00 p.m.

This group of ladies are on their third round of martinis. It’s one of their birthdays, one of them just got fired, and the other girl is broke. As they leave I overhear that they are going to another bar. I imagine that they will all be barfing later tonight.

10:45 p.m.

The kitchen crew is listening to Rihanna’s album, the song “Desperado” is playing. Every time I hear that song, it reminds me of this story my mom told me about a dog my dad had. The dog jumped off a pier into the ocean and just swam away, it’s name was Desperado, named after the Eagles’ song.

Friday, September 9

9:23 a.m.

Awoke from another dream this morning. I had found an old portfolio folder that had a bunch of old photos and drawings from my childhood. I found a contour drawing of Gillian Anderson and small photos of my father from before I was born. I was flipping through the drawings and photos in a church pew during service, an older parishioner sitting in front of me shushed me, then I woke up.

9:53 a.m.

Found this song I never heard by Gina X, listen to it on repeat all morning. Baby, I love it.


12:14 p.m.

At 99 Cent store, I buy birthday cards for my brother and sister (my Virgos), I also get some confetti in the shape of stars and purchase stamps. There is a group of girls looking at hair clips with their mothers.

12:30 p.m.

In the studio listening to a new podcast I found called The Vanished instead of Sword and Scale. The Vanished is about missing people and their friends and family that are trying to find them. The woman who runs the podcast, Marissa Jones, is really sympathetic and you get the feeling that she really cares about the stories and that she wants to help these families and friends of the missing, by getting word out about their stories. It still satisfies my creep fetish, but I feel a little better about myself. :/

Been listening to this podcast for about 4 hours now.

5:30 p.m.

Home for a shower, listening to Gina X again, I am obsessed.

6:12 p.m.

Listening to Anika “Orlando” on repeat on the subway. I only have this song and the Anti (deluxe) Rihanna album in my iTunes. I don’t really understand how to use iTunes anymore. The iCloud really messed everything up.

7:05 p.m.

At Greene Naftali gallery opening, with Rachel, Raque, and Tom. Drinking white wine.
We head downtown to Maccarone, for the opening of “Coming to Power: 25 Years Of Sexually X-Plicit Art By Women.” It’s a really great show!

Say hello to Paul.

I take a crooked picture of Judith Bernstein’s drawing in the show before we leave. White wine is hitting fast and hard. I feel like that figure in her drawing, diving head first into our car home (minus the giant penis).

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