Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Richard Hawkins, “Scalps, Dungeon and Salome Paintings” 1 July -27 August 2011, Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Fasanenstraße 30, Berlin 10719, by craniv boy

Richard Hawkins, "Scalps, Dungeon and Salome Paintings" 1 July -27 August 2011, Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Fasanenstraße 30, Berlin 10719, by craniv boyd.


This is an exhibition of bright colored paintings with homosexual iconography.  There are shoe boxes women's shoes in large sizes, drag queen sizes and clippings of hair and colored tags on bands, which interspersed between the paintings, hang on hooks. The work is in Galerie Daniel Buchholz, and for those interested in seeing naïve, clumsy small to mid-scaled oil on canvass with men in bikinis and floating severed heads along with "scalps" that fit into shoe boxes giving new meaning to prêt a porter, then Richard Hawkins, is your artist and his current work shown until 27th of august would be right for you.


 Idle men, in empty spaces that look like nightclubs, standing in doorways, poised at a threshold. The paintings titled Salome paintings with descriptive titles that sound like a punch line in a horror movie "three heads and a thong" have just what they describe, zombie heads (at home perhaps in Hannah Barbara's Scooby Doo) floating and one man wearing a thong.


Is the Berlin painting aficionado to "read" paintings seen in eleven years past the turn of the millennium, with a cloying flavor of expressionism collectively named Salome, as reference to the biblical story, or homage to the West Berlin based young wild painter of the nineteen eighties with the artist name Salomé. 


Paintings built to hold other, smaller paintings, oddly shaped oil on particle board tableaux, that are perhaps understood as, what late Phillip Guston trying to make a tromp l'oie of a metal dungeon door would do. Each of the dungeon door series has a rectangle cut away that fits snugly one of the smaller Salome line.  The most abstract open ended and flexible of this line is a work sub-titled Venice. Beach or biennial, there are no figures in this painting and if one opens the associative "door" marked biennial one could think of the Icelandic national Pavilion at the 2009 edition of the Venice Biennial, with perfom-ative paintings, or bad painting as performance of the Icelandic artist who has it all, pop music band, art practice and gallery representation on both sides of the Atlantic ocean, Ragnar Kjartanson. Photographs of his performance where he painted on oil on canvass portrait of his pal in a black Speedo, one painting per day. Made the front page of the arts section in the New York Times.  That is if you look at art and paintings with the skeptical eye of a detective on the hunt for associative improbable trails of influence in current painting.


Richard Hawkins, a talented pop colorist, has set some pictures with layers patchwork textures that look slightly cartoon esque and decorative with light subject matter and creepy gruesome heads that oddly look like they are checking out the half naked men standing in the doorways of the picture plane. The work is a series. As such individual exemplars appear repetitive. It is a gallery exhibition, and of course all works are for sale each work, each painting, with few exceptions looks as if it is a copy or slight shifting of another painting. The work begs the question of: who would like to have awkward colorful paintings of young half-naked men and rotting flying ghost heads observing those men? By craniv boyd. 

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