“There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be.” This sentiment, as intimated by William “Willy” Wonka, is the very foundation with which we can come to understand Vagas Hawk’s art.
Conceptually, her work represents Neon-Fauvism, an expression of Post-Impressionism unique to her. She replaces adamant brushwork with aerosol stenciling, paint pens, and deliberate paint-runs. Hawk’s dismissal of subject matter is very much in the Post-Impressionist/Fauvist vein. However, her reliance on neon color and modern applications is not simply counter-culture for the sake of counter-culturalism. That is, she is not merely experimenting with form just to experiment; she is not using neon colors because they are pretty (though they are). Instead, her use of color and her medium further the evolution of a burgeoning movement.
Her artistic choice is cultural subterfuge. Much like Graffiti Art, not to be confused with territorial tagging or vandalism, is a vehicle for social or political protest, Hawk’s work is an instrument in the Electronic Movement (Can I call it that? Is it deserving of caps?). The same movement that bends the theories of rhythm and melody is now breeching the classical arts (Call Homeland Security!).
Electronic music owes its foundation to its infinite manipulation of sound. It resists the mainstream with its often uncomfortable melodies and exploitation of genre and style. Hawk’s art is in the same stratum. It is pure imagination at its finest. She freely fuses classical Fauvist ideologies with Neo-Pop Graffiti Art mediums. While her use of neon colors engages viewers, as neon colors were created to do (Compare and Contrast: Ultra-violent Fly Traps and Open Signs. What is the goal of each? How do they accomplish their goals?), it also repels (Google: Color Theory).
What we are left with is a conflicting experience in which we are both pushed away and pulled in (Again, this is much like our reaction to Electronic music). Hawk illuminates this experience, stating we need to “take the time to breathe in its essence.” And, the reward for our patience? “Eye candy so delightful even Willy Wonka would pee his purple pants.”
Pee on, Willy. Pee on.
To further experience the defecation that is Vagas Hawk’s art, go to http://www.whisperingaloud.com/vagashawk.
By Scott Warfe