Predator: New Works by Chris Hawtin. Curated by Juan Bolivar
Canvas and Cream, September 2012
The Predator society builds sophisticated spaceships, yet they should not look as sleek and hi-tech as a Star Wars stormtrooper. They are a tribal culture, yet their look should not be as primitive as the orcs from Lord of the Rings. They are also a warrior culture, so the ornate cannot conflict with the practical.
Alec Gillis (AVP: Alien v.s Predator, 2004) discussing the Predator design.
In the 17th century a group of northern European painters, principally Dutch, travelled toItalyadopting upon their return the style of landscape painting that they found there at the time. Artists such as Jan Both (1615-1652) and Nicolaes Berchem (1620-1683) brought back with them visions of mountains and peasants basking under golden skies, incorporating Italian models and motifs into their own work. Often among Classical ruins, their light-filled canvases of exotic lands were in contrast with the flat and cloudy scenes ofHolland, presenting a curious hybrid hyper-reality. Later, artists such as Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691) and Philips Wouwermans (1619-1668) were inspired by these works to create their own interpretations of landscapes they had never seen.
Chris Hawtin's paintings centre around technological acceleration; the characteristic which defines our times. His paintings, such as Cloak and Veil, 2011, portray amorphous figures born out of the psyche of science fiction. Setting these protagonists against landscapes reminiscent of the Dutch 17th century painter Aelbert Cuyp, they suggest the remains of a time past and aspects of a future in collision. Through the de-territorialisation of these Alien- or Predator-like figures, Chris Hawtin asks the viewer to question our relationship to landscape in this technological era and how the notion of landscape itself has become fictionalised through the proliferation of global media, cinema and virtual environments.