from a review in the Rio Grande Sun 10/04/07
A number of Hockenbery’s photographs tend toward the haunting. They grab you immediately — sometimes you aren’t even sure why at first — and draw you closer, even if, sometimes, you are tempted to move further away. They are intoxicating and, at the same time, just a little bit unsettling.
A doll, aged and surface worried, cracked lines covering the face, stares at you as if, all of a sudden, it will become animated. The eyes sunken in the head, you start imagining, will flit this way and that. The doll will suddenly sit up; perhaps stretch — maybe towards you. You catch your breath and take a step back. You notice the lipstick on the dolls lips. Has it worn off with age or has it just not been completely applied, like a shoddy job of makeup application you might imagine from a mental patient. You back away; turn to leave, and then look again at the doll, making sure it is still sitting where you last saw it.
A circus performer waits outside a tent entrance. The light glows eerily green. She has a hand on her hip, blond wig, and an allure that reminds you of Marilyn. You almost find yourself wondering if it is Monroe — back to life for one last
A television set sits slightly askew in an abandoned building. A console model. Perhaps something out of the sixties, Kennedy era. Nothing out of the ordinary here. But then you notice that on the screen of this abandoned TV is a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe. A statement on TV evangelism? Something akin to the face of Christ on a tortilla? Is someone still living in this seemingly abandoned building? Or is it a sign of perpetual hope that many find in the image of the Virgin?
Hockenbery’s photographs make you ask questions. You
find yourself looking at them more closely and fully because
of the questions they produce. But you find yourself, after leaving an exhibit of Hockenbery photos, still asking questions, and questions not only about the photographs themselves, but also about life in general. People in general. Relationships. Religion. Etc. And offering up images that prompt that questioning is what Hockenbery seems to do very well, as good art and photography
is apt to do.
selected for New Mexico Women in the Arts Originals 2007
show at the Harwood Museum - Taos New Mexico
selected Beauty Redefined JPG issue #10 June 2007
winner in the NewWest Summer 2006 roadtrip contest:
"The winner of the Roadtrip '06 Roadside Americana category is....Mary Hockenbery, of Dixon, New Mexico for her image "Paris, Idaho." Mary is another familiar name on New West, as her work has appeared frequently as "Featured Images" on the New West pages. Mary, who goes by the screenname "Reddirtrose" on FLICKR, is known for very quiet and extremely powerful images. Her best rise into the realm of the spiritual. In "Paris, Idaho" we see a very fortunate combination of subject and lighting, and a very bold, centered composition that communicates age, isolation and loneliness enveloped in a magically moody radiance. It both breaks your heart and somehow mends it up again."
selected for JPG Magazine 2005 - Issue 4
Photos of Mary Hockenbery (reddirtrose) (9)
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"Although it is there, it surrounds us and it is ever present, the beauty of everyday life escapes most of us, much of the time. Mary Hockenberry’s sublime art however, captures the diurnal iridescence, the splendor of daily life and life as a circus, a rodeo, a beauty contest, a rainbow rising over Phoenix.
Author of 25 Lessons I’ve Learned about Photography,
the #1 Photo Essay and Artist Biography on Amazon.com for 2010!
3rd November, 2010
Jade Wah'oo says:
"Having personally experienced RDR's photos, and having some hanging beautiful and choice pieces upon my wall, I encourage you to look deep into her collection. Stunning! Good job and congrats RDR!"
30th January, 2007
Laurie York says:
"reddirtrose is one of the most soulful photographers I've discovered on Flickr. Her images take me to rough and intimate places - nothing "too pretty", but always beautiful, surprising and real. I admire the gritty gorgeousness of the people and places that she conjures into images I will never forget..."
29th September, 2006
"We were introduced by red's father, which in itself quite magical, and as contemporaries are now enjoying the beginning of what looks like being a fascinating collaboration. Thank you for your willingness to take a risk with this stranger, and for your keen eye, and your boldness with colour. Most of all thank you for taking this small leap into uncharted territory. Lots more good things are to come, I feel."
10th May, 2006
"I've had the pleasure to exchange art with Reddirtrose, as well as, admire her photography. She's a very talented person."
25th October, 2005
"Her photos capture the heart and soul of her surroundings in a subtle yet powerful way. Her use of color and attention to detail are amazing.
A true artist."
9th August, 2005
"She has tremendous visual power-in full command of composition. Even rooms that are empty have portend and mystery-she sees it with new eyes in a world where there is always more to see. Hortonfogg"
6th May, 2005
Lorrie McClanahan says:
"OK, so this is the rewrite. My first version was so brief and forceful (the gist being stop reading this and get on with looking at reddirtrose's amazing photos), I did wonder if the tone might not represent her wonderful spirit. So now I’m taking a deeper breath, putting my feet up on the dash, rolling down the window and letting the breeze fill my hair. There, that’s better.
There are more than a few surprises in the collection here, but somehow all these places I’ve never seen look familiar through her eyes...sort of like the world as I’d like to see it, if that makes sense. If you’re planning a road trip, or been on a road trip, or only dream of taking a road trip across America, then I think you’ll be inspired by these photos. In the process of enjoying her images you just might also catch the relaxing breeze which is the reddirtrose spirit. It’s a fine breeze, indeed."
5th March, 2005
- November 2004
- Hermosa Beach, CA
- western slope Colorado, USA
- I am:
- Female and Taken