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I Wish The World Would Do What I Want It To

Mark Hanavan's avatar Mark Hanavan

I Wish The World Would Do What I Want It To, 2015, charcoal and acrylic on Canford cardstock, wood and Ebony stain. Mark Hanavan is an artist, teacher, and product of American suburbia. He has been compelled to address the generational clash that defines His relationship with students, family and friends – a generational clash that steers his own desire for the elusive American dream of individuality and vague sense of personal glory he was promised as a child. This endless quest is implicit in his practice as a Realist artist striving to perfect an imperfectable craft. He sees this quest reflected in the efforts of his students, friends, and family in ways that are various and subtle – from social networking personas to behaviors that both mimic and reject social norms. Using the “Old-World” language of drawing, Hanavan confronts the 21st-century individual with the goal of creating both social awareness and personal catharsis. Hanavan creates a commentary on suburbia and the perceived culture of youth entitlement in the 21st century by rendering his subjects in austere and impeccable black and white. The deadpan expression and unapologetic, uncomfortably straightforward point of view used in each drawing seems to break any spell of idealism; and the viewer is left with a harsher confrontation with the reality that Hanavan conveys. The unique formal process in Hanavan’s work – including meticulously hand-built frames and other 3-dimensional craft work, simultaneously unify and contrast with the 2-D images they surround. This sensitivity to the space between the work and the actual world suggests a nod to Modernists like Leon Golub and Donald Judd, even as the images seem to reference the Old Masters of the Baroque. Ultimately, Hanavan's creates an intertwining visual metaphor for questions and struggles surrounding the construction of identity. The almost-fanatical attention to magnified detail allows the craft of drawing in the 21st century to enter the conversation; and we are left contemplating the many definitions of “real.” In considering both actual and fabricated senses of reality, he brings the question of nature vs. nurture back to the fore, with a Post-modern twist, by asking his audience to consider just how much control we really have over our own destiny and the construction of our own identity… as artists and as people.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 8 in
  • Medium: Charcoal and acrylic on Canford cardstock with handmade frame
  • Width: 58 in
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 58 in