Richard Hawkins paintings, collages and sculptures are hard to pin down, they turn history upside down, offer us an alternative story through the juxtaposition of everything from ancient Greek and Roman sculpture to 19th Century French literature, post-structuralist theory to film stars such as Tom Cruise and sex tourism in South – East Asia.
Hawkins is now seen as one of the most important artists in America working within the context of queer art and culture, his art work lying squarely in the realm of gender and sexuality, his ideas confrontational, asking questions, redefining our notions of sex and desire.
I’d love to stand infront of one of Hawkins paintings, they’re so vivid, lively, a mash-up of avant-garde, kitsch and kink, while his appropriation of consumer goods – often designed and marketed at girls – face up to us, challenge us to rethink the hierarchies of value and visual pleasure, demand of us to be a voyeur, make us complicit in looking. Deeply.
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