Immaculate Confection: Works by Darrell Hawkins at the Saatchi Gallery
Immaculate Confection, by the young artist Darrell Hawkins, displays an impressive compilation of bright, expressive contemporary paintings. Hawkins takes inspiration from his own memories, as well as the world around him, articulating these with an unlimited colour palette and abstracted patterns. The artist explains that he wants his work to “emulate the fractious, absurd and seemingly random nature of life”, which most definitely comes across successfully. Furthermore, the description of “hypnotic” is accurate, as much of the work looks like a mess at first glance, but is actually full of a depth that only surfaces after studying the paintings for a considerable amount of time. It is enjoyable and refreshing to see how Hawkins makes use of colour almost like a child would, completely unconstrained by the norm and mundane. The application of paint appears honest and straightforward, brilliantly initiating something more complex.
Although together forming a coherent collection, Hawkins’ paintings contain different qualities: some are heavily patterned, whereas others are more bold and simplistic. The subject matter varies in each piece, creating a good balance between portraits telling a story and intricate abstraction. For example, If You Liked That You’ll Love This is made up of intense markings with repetitive geometric shapes that are sporadically placed. An almost graffiti-like effect is achieved, although there is more depth and detail to it. In contrast, many of the figures Hawkins has painted have a large, singular block of colour that often obscures their faces. Several paintings, such as Sonic Mask and Singer, give the impression of having been complete portraits, before being painted over with these solid colours.
In the second room of the exhibition, it is revealed that Hawkins has created 25 limited edition prints of his Lady Hurley Burley (Immaculate Chocolate) painting. Starting out with a vibrant background, which is unique to each piece, and screen printing the black outline on top causes these hand-finished prints to be spectacular and individual. It is evident why this liberating and distinct style is selling so well!
Photos: Matthew Pull
Immaculate Confection: Works by Darrell Hawkins is at the Saatchi Gallery from 28th July until 24th August 2015, for further information visit here.