About the Work

Unlike painting (even photo-realist paintings) which we view as a direct expression of the artist's vision at the moment we view it, a photograph on the other hand, as we perceive it, has a life of its own that gives it the illusion that the moment depicted is a reality that existed whether the photographer had captured it or not. This understanding and subsequent subversion of it, is at the heart of Richard Hawley's work in Dreamscapes. His ability to freeze a dot, on a line of continuing time, or a series of dots, while maintaining the images' kinetic energy makes us feel each photograph exists simultaneously inside and outside of the single frame. They are not detached, abstract moments - but rather are moments from an ongoing story that the viewer is suddenly a part of, and as in a dream these moments represent some familiar part of reality that we recognize but is somehow always just out of reach. It is this dream-like, subconscious mystery of wanting to know more that compels the viewer to participate in the story and symbolism of each image. Images like ' The Dog', or Incident at the Beach', or 'The Photograph' which feels like a frame from a film noir movie, resonate this power of dream reality while ' Boy with Wings' makes us wonder whether there was any moment before or after the moment Mr. Hawley captured the image, or did this boy always exist like this as an angel with wings that the camera just happened to capture through its mechanical detachment, while the rest of us mortals missed it. Mr. Hawley's control over these concepts of reality and surrealism, as well as his control of color and movement and time, make his pictures transcend the feeling of a photograph and push into the territory of painting with its broad depth and scope of image. And as none of his subjects are ever staged and every image in the show is printed from a single unmanipulated negative or transparency, he never betrays the necessary illusion of reality that empowers the photographic image.