Hawk photographed by Mika Tenhovaara (1989)

How I Met the Artist

I got to know Hawk, or Håkan as he was christened, in Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden. His apartment on Katarina Bangata was filled with large, peculiar oil paintings that immediately appealed to me. No doubt about it - he was simultaneously one of the strangest of the surrealistic painters that I'd seen, and very gifted as well.

I remembered a dream I'd had several years earlier of similar, large paintings with people in weird, inexplicable situations, just like Hawk's paintings. A glimpse of the future perhaps.

Hawk left the chilly Swedish climate behind a few years later to find a more receptive audience in the USA. He ended up in New York, where he now lives with the American photographer Mia Hanson. And he became "the darling of the New York underground art scene". (J. Sedley in New Art International, Vol. III, Book Art Press Ltd., Woodstock, NY),

Hawk Alfredson is a very productive artist who creates paintings in a never-ending stream, but amazingly they always have the same ability to surprise. Somehow, he always finds something previously unseen to paint. And yet I find them somehow familiar, something I've seen in a forgotten dream.

How I Met the Artist
How I Met the Artist

I met the artist in Stockholm. I was always looking at my watch. Time was running away. I panicked, tried to push him out of the window. He was drunk, didn't resist. But somehow, I couldn't. Finally, I gave up. He began throwing things from the apartment out of the window. I looked at my watch. No change for the better.

I looked at his face. He knows. The same things as me. I never met anybody else who did. I remember that time, too. Back then, over the shoulder.

I got mad, overwhelmed with sadness over what we'd lost, and tried to push him out of the window again.

But nothing really works, you see.

Hawk Duszek Alfredson's paintings are made of wax, they form themselves after the beholder's mind. With time, they show the archetypal bulrushes ... seaweed ... the reed sea. I also remember that time. Before the electropic time.

When I want to flee, I step into the painting onto the chessboard floor covered by a strange fog. I hear a voice calling my name, and I step to the window with three giant strides, look out into the landscape painted by the great masters. Wild nature turned into well-tended garden.

I sit myself down in a porous sofa made of solidified vanilla cream, watching the toast in the window transform itself into a Messerschmitt ME-262 of perfect beauty. It plays the cumulus clouds with at crisp quiver.

"I only think tea."

The saints in the extraterrestrial religion on the walls of the underground cult chamber gaze down from their icons. Still, with knowledge gained from the wasteland. The three men with the toes grow peanuts in the chapel where the electropic wasps play gorilla with virgin Mary. Apocalyptic. My tears mix with incense from the mandarin's specially made wooden box, the one with nine compartments for different quality grass.

A pair of innocent American twin sisters play with their electropic microphone, drink their loose music that drip in floes down the green river Yerba Mate, and on in the form of hand prints out into the universe.

"I found God."

The Titanic is sinking, with a fragile wooden gunwale falling apart under your grip ... the demons tearing the skin from your body. And you fall ... out of the glazing ... out of the painting ... back into what we call "the left-overs".


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