Oil on copper laid on canvas
48 x 36 inches (122 x 91.4 cm)
Signed lower left: Hawk
Acquired from the artist
New York City-born Richard Hawk enjoyed a demanding career as a communications and advertising designer for fortune 500 companies and universities before moving to full time fine art in the early 2000’s. He has been awarded for his ground breaking paintings with numerous shows exhibiting on both coasts including his home studio base in San Diego, California. Prolific and international in focus, his highly celebrated works of oil on copper can be found in many collections around the world.
One art investment broker remarked that “Hawk has achieved something truly novel and his artwork will stand the test of time as being the first person to develop this technique, style and approach to a blank surface. There are followers and there are leaders, and Richard Hawk falls unquestionably into the latter.”
In the beginning, explorations into the use of copper as a substrate for paintings were experiments. Success upon success with his signature marriage of copper and paint led to devotion to the metal, now an intrinsic part of his work. The reason, says Hawk: a dynamic, active surface. “It glows with life,” he says, “and the painting morphs as light changes during the day. Just walking past it reveals new layers and voices each time.”
Hawk welcomes co-creation with the forces of nature into his artworks through oxidation (patina) processes; masterful brushwork in the tradition of oil painting launches the works into new territory.
Interwoven throughout his work are themes of humanity, nature and science. Hawk’s figurative works question the future with echoes of the past; heroines and heroes hinting at things to come or dreams remembered. In the meditative abstract pieces, geometric shapes confer order upon labyrinths of rich organic detail.
A Richard Hawk painting is a soul-soothing, brain-teasing homage to the artist’s alchemy of copper-as-canvas. “The infinite and the ephemeral coexist everywhere,” says the artist, “Here too in these paintings.”
The human figure, particularly the female human figure, inspires me. Working from some of the many photographs I have taken of a favorite model in the studio, this composition was assembled to communicate stature, a thoughtful countenance, beauty, and introspective intensity.
Garbed in leaves, her hands clutch the robe of nature around her. An ephemeral aspect speaks to the transitory nature of things and of the natural world, particularly, in our times. Contemplate what is going on in this person’s heart and mind.
The leaves used in the production of this work are from a magnificent sweet gum tree that grew in front of a friend’s house.
Art should be beautiful, a feast for the soul. However, I want my art to also speak to the looming challenges of social media, artificial intelligence, nuclear holocaust, over-population and climate change.
It seems paradoxical that figures in paintings by Klimt, Gauguin and others, which inspire me, can express such aesthetic power and grace and also still reference the darker layers of human experience.
Issues we face as individuals and as a species — how can we ignore them in the making of art?
Ever since I can remember, I have felt that the natural world and human-made constructs were much in need of some type of balance. Upon viewing my paintings, I hope that a balance is sensed. I aspire for people to feel good and party like there’s no tomorrow, for each day is precious.