Anthony Hawley, "Drawings for Donald: A Fog of Now"
DRAWINGS FOR DONALD
During the weeks before the 2017 presidential inauguration, I was preoccupied with what forms of action and engagement to take. I came up with “Drawings for Donald”—a drawing a day for the next 365 days. These began as text-based drawings, ink on paper, each text starting with the words “Dear Donald.” My intention was that they were sometimes funny, often odd, occasionally topical, and that they possessed some poetic intrigue. I wanted these to haunt Donald, to haunt us all into another place; to haunt us out of now.
About two months into the process, a shift occurred—I started drawing on darkroom works I created. After using several different images, my drawing surface became a photograph of the Skorba Temples in Malta—the spare remains of monolithic stones from thousands of years ago. Most days now, I try to use a slightly different version of the Skorba image for my “Drawings for Donald” — manipulated, tweaked, collaged, underexposed, overexposed, etc. The daily repetition of the image helps reflect the uncharacteristic compression of the real, the fake, the truths, and lies. Part of what interests me is the question of what an image can store. How can it expose buried spaces that are daily being shoved aside? How can a broken image open up other kinds of seeing? How can it make room for all the spirits and hungry ghosts?
As our language gets stripped of its nuances, niceties and niches in this current time, we need to keep it supple. If we aren’t custodians of words and images, who will be.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Anthony Hawley is a multidisciplinary artist currently living in Nebraska. Born in 1977, Hawley grew up in Massachusetts and was educated at Columbia University and the MFA Art Practice Program at the School of Visual Arts. He has been the recipient of residencies and awards from the MacDowell Colony, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Art Farm, VCCA, and Arte Studio Ginistrelle. In 2016, Countercurrent, the Menil Collection and Aurora Picture Show in Houston, TX presented his five-day performance event “Fault Diagnosis.” Other recent solo exhibitions include installations at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta, Malta (2016); Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2014); Dolphin Gallery, Kansas City (2012); and the Museum of Nebraska Art (2012). His writings on art appear frequently in The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Modern Painters and he is the author of two-full length collections of poetry as well as several chapbooks. With violinist Rebecca Fischer, he forms one half of The Afield, a multi-media performance collaboration between the visual arts and sound. Recent performances of theirs include The Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, The Ferus Festival at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY and Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine.