A modern medievalist

This isn’t the post I planned on writing today. (That’s OK, because that gives me more time to work on the other one I started.) But when I saw a picture of “Möbius Ship” in a post at First Thoughts, I happily followed the rabbit trail that it presented.

I never heard of Tim Hawkinson before, but I am intrigued by what I read about him in this review. It’s hard to judge art by seeing small photos on a computer screen, yet I think I would be just as intrigued in person. I particularly like “Wall Chart of World History From Earliest Times to the Present.” I do not believe history to be a meaningless series of events, because God is working through it. But from a human perspective, it probably could well be represented by Hawkinson’s drawing.

I like his use of found objects. I saw one comment, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art website, complaining that the bar code labels left on the dowels used in “Möbius Ship” detract from the effect. Not having seen it except in the photo, I can’t say. But found objects do tend to have at least some traces of their original function. That is part of what makes them appealing to me – the fact that they can still be identified as “non-art” objects makes their contribution to an objet d’art (assuming it’s good art) all that more impressive.  

I also like his versatility. There is a wide variety to the materials, themes, size, and looks to the various works shown in the review (to which I linked in the second paragraph). Some are purely visual, others include sound. Some include movement. All, apparently, include a certain playfulness, yet also something serious wrapped in humor.

I’m not sure I would figure out the hidden serious message in all of them. (I didn’t even notice the connection between “Möbius Ship” and Moby Dick on my own, since Möbius doesn’t start with the same vowel sound as Moby.) The “Balloon Self-Portrait,” for instance, just looks kind of strange.

But if I had the chance to go see some of Hawkinson’s works in person (without having to travel very far, that is), I would like to.


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