An archaeologist's state of mind guides Hanson's choice of the objects he turns into his subjects. They seem to anticipate some further excavator searching for a few familiar things which somehow sum up our era, which speak both personally and culturally. Cat in bronze-the material which denotes permanence and the desire to capture the likeness for posterity-many of Hanson's sculptures give the irresistible illusion, rather, of leather-a material that, conversely, is soft, organic, and vulnerable to time.
Hanson chooses to isolate and immortalize a man's leather jacket. The choice becomes a comment on the power in our culture of image per se. A comment on the ascendence of personal style and image, via our possessions and fashion, to a consuming culture value. Seemingly casually tossed over a hook, yet frozen there in bronze, the jacket evokes an entire range of masculine stereotypes celebrated by the media-cowboys, mavericks and rebels of our time. The open road, macho bravado, rugged individuality, sex appeal. Yet the pesence of this lone jacket equally evokes the very personal, if anonymous, history of its wearer. Like the cast-form-life sculpture of George Segal, it expresses mystery, even poignancy, of its owners absence. As in much of Hanson's art, this culture manages both to critique and also to value such material icons of our culture.