Beth Hoeckel’s collages playfully manipulate perspective and scale to create compositions that evoke a sense of wonder. Her current exhibition at the University of Tennessee Knoxville borrows its name, “Hypnotist Collector,” from the Bob Dylan song “She Belongs to Me.” Though the singer is not a direct influence for Hoeckel, who describes herself as a collector, the lyrics are fitting for her composite artworks that use cutout figures from magazines of earlier decades to create mythical scenes that mesmerize.
Whether viewing “Moondance,” a black-and-white work featuring ten child ballerinas posed on the moon’s surface, or at “Ranges,” in which two women on a sidewalk set their gazes on a magnificent snow covered mountain range, the viewer shares in the subjects’ feelings of reverence toward the imposing forces of nature. Other works such as “Cover Up” and “Summer Stars” use hands with manicured hands to obscure female faces. These colleges reference the paintings of René Magritte and perhaps add a feminist perspective to the Belgian Surrealist’s mission to “challenge the real world.”