Brig #5: Cumpire
Oil on canvas and acrylic on panel
63 x 49 x 1 5/8 inches (160 x 124.5 x 4.1 cm)
Image courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
Richard Hawkins (b. 1961, Mexia, Texas) has lived and worked in Los Angeles since the 1990s. His mixed media practice, with a focus on collage, expresses “very agitated, sometimes embarrassingly personal and presumably cathartic exegesis of male desire.” (Susan Kandel, LA Times, 1995). Brig #5: Cumpire comes from of a series of works exhibited at Greene Naftali in 2012 in which candy-colored interiors painted on wood have been inserted into a painted canvas framed of trompe l’oeil riveted steampunk panels reminiscent of the freight trucks that would populate the landscape of Hawkins’ childhood growing up next to a Texan interstate highway. “The trappings of the paintings are otherwise scant and ghastly; a few smoking trashbarrels, woebegone zombies lurching past hollowed-out gloryholes evoke, overall, the strange haunted sexclubs and adult-only thrill ride worlds that often populate Hawkins’ oeuvre.” (Press release, Greene Naftali, 2012)
Addressing a variety of subjects – including ancient Greek and Roman sculpture, 19th century French decadent painting and literature, 1980s teen heartthrobs, and the intricacies of Thai sex tourism – his work is, at its core, about the pleasure of intense looking. Hawkins is an equal-opportunity voyeur, but it is the male figure – often young, beautiful, and exotic – that is the primary inspiration for and subject for his art. What seems on the surface to be one man’s obsession with objects of desire is indeed a form of obsession, but with objects as such – the tangible, tactile, bodily stuff of life in all its sexy, scary, gorgeous imperfection.
– Lisa Dorin in Richard Hawkins: Third Mind (Art Institute of Chicago, 2010) produced on occasion of Hawkins exhibition there from 22 October 2010 – 16 January 2011.
Greene Naftali Gallery
Other works by Richard Hawkins
After Artaud: The Sexual Awkwardness of God, Sperm Traps (2019)