Magazine Home  |  News  |  Features  |  Reviews  |  Books  |  People  |  Horoscope  
Back to Reviews 97

Robert Hawkins
Promenade Nocturne

© ArtNet Worldwide 1997
david ebony's
new york top ten

Robert Hawkins
at Livestock Gallery

Jan. 18-Feb. 22, 1997

Robert Hawkins produces fantastic images in an amazing variety of mediums. He pulled out all of the stops for this show, titled "Promenade Nocturne," covering the walls with numerous works: from oil paintings on canvas and chalk drawings on blackboard, to sculptural objects like the old rusted frying pan that the artist found during a recent stay in France and embellished with a pair of painted eyes.

Hawkins is obsessed with ghosts and with evoking the supernatural. Some of his works may be described as funky morality tales. For instance, one painting shows a bear trap in which a wad of dollar bills serves as bait. Another image shows a similar trap with a frosted cupcake used as bait. Certain works have vague political themes--one eerie painting shows a ghostly JFK peering from behind a curtain. Two of my favorite works seem to be ecological statements. One picture features an emaciated elephant with enormous tusks lying prostrate in a zoo cage. Another depicts a presumably sick tree, lying in a bed, sad and leafless, partly covered in a blanket. Hawkins has the ability to create images that are at once hilarious and profound.

DAVID EBONY is a contributing editor to Art in America. He is working on a book about the life and work of Graham Sutherland.