Thursday, May 1, 2008

Whimsical Rubbish - Ben Hawkins

Ben Hawkins (shown smiling in navy tee)

Whimsical Rubbish

Happy Box

Happy Box detail

I am acquainted with Ben's work (and Ben himself) through the online photo hosting site, flickr. In glancing over his profile there, the testimony of one of his admirers caught my eye.

She wrote, “Have you ever Just met someone and felt like you have known them forever? Ben is that person for me- my funky junk soul brother-yep ~yep~ yessiree!

God has given him such a gift for spreading his happiness and joy for life to others through his wonderful , whimsical creations.
He is a sweet and caring and so down to earth and giving and he and his home-grown and happy dancing family truly make this world a better place to be in ! Take it from me , I speak no lies , it's true ! Truly!!!! Honest !!!!!!! Here's to you brother.”

Funny, lyrical, otherworldly, joyful, and sometimes, African-influenced, the work of Bill Hawkins seems to emanate from a place informed by sublime yet humorously whimsical spirits. Metal animals, shrines, masks, all created from found objects, (i.e.”junk”) express an intensity, whether they are birds or dogs or fish, shines rising up from discarded televisions sets or humanoids emerging from joints of metal fittings. Ben's work shows hints of early Steampunk laced with primitive-meets-high tech.

Some of the labels – “outsider,” “folk artist” seem so limited in conveying the richness of Ben Hawkin’s work. I find myself doing double-takes when I look at it. “What?! Is that a fan blade??!!” ;-)
It is all familiar, yet at the same time, foreign, interesting, fascinating!

Ben wrote to me, “I really don't have a artist statement so much I just really enjoy finding and letting out personalities in junk.... every where, every moment there is art waiting around the corner. I love to make my stuff, share smiles and happiness. My art came out of no where and suprised me and has enlightened my life every sense “

A segment of Ben’s art can be found on a video that he posted called, Rare Visions and Roadside Revalations.

Ben said he posted this “for a window into the madness” !

Click here to see more of Ben Hawkin's work while you cruise around his fun web site.

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Stacy Alexander