Frequently combining the deliberate undertaking of Sisyphean tasks (building an actual size replica of the Hoover Dam) with explorations of the aesthetics of plausible deniability (infiltrating a reality television show about bizarre food addictions), Hawkins’ oeuvre explores cycles of grandiosity, failure, and rationalization through a battery of sculptural, architectural, land art, and performative strategies, while incorporating diverse media from printmaking, drawing, and painting, to video, sound art, and digital imaging.
As critic Doug Harvey observed, “Drawing equally from the legacies of land artists like Robert Smithson and storytellers such as filmmaker Werner Herzog, Hawkins’ work illuminates a constantly shifting landscape of post-modern narratives, hearkening back to the Neolithic monument builders at the dawn of human history while looking forward to the internet’s transformative impact on the nature of human consciousness and reality.”
Incubated in the bosom of the global digital economy, Hawkins draws from a surprisingly wide set of life experiences, ranging from English public school to the murky underground culture of Austin, Texas. In addition to his broad spectrum of solo art activities, he is a member of the experimental musical group F with Marnie Weber and Doug Harvey, and recently topped the Belgian New Music charts as Kenneth Friendliness (with Mannlicher Carcano), performing his original song “Juli Carson Hates Relational Aesthetics (and so do I)”.
Hawkins has studied art at UCLA, Yale’s Norfolk Summer School of Art, and UC Irvine, and has exhibited his work at numerous venues including: UC Riverside’s Culver Center for the Arts, Las Cienegas Projects, UC Irvine, Jancar Gallery, PØST Gallery, The Beacon Arts Building, and UCLA’s New Wight Gallery. In July 2017, Hawkins completed Desert Lighthouse – a nearly 50ft tall fully-functioning lighthouse in the Mojave Desert.
Daniel Hawkins is based in Los Angeles.