Friday, 23 September 2011

Robert Hawkins

I first encountered the artist Robert Hawkins not through his work, but in the flesh, having seen only a hint of what his art was like in a forwarded Christmas e-card. Since then I've had a chance to see his work and form a great admiration for his paintings and drawings.
The encounter happened a few years back when my friend David invited me along to a meeting with the artist. We ended up getting cheap Thai food at the marvelously drab Marie's Cafe in Waterloo, and apart from having an entertaining anecdote about Carmen McRae (I won't ruin it here with a fumbled retelling), alluding to his days in the 80s lower Manhattan art scene, and being so kind as to treat us to dinner, I became doubly impressed with Robert Hawkins when I actually got to see his work - not an easy task via the Internet.
I guess I like Hawkins (quoted as Basquiat's favourite artist) in the same way I like Joe Brainard - who also triumphs with "a kind of 'outsider' aesthetic that refuses to be pinned down to one attitude, whether cynical, fantastical, or satirical".
The link above directs to an article from Artforum, and here is a (small) jpeg of one his (large 5"x6") drawings of Famous Haunted English Ruins, plus a few more I managed to glean from the Internet.