Off The Top Of My Head
I was young I often wondered if I thought about something long enough, hard
enough, if it would materialize. Eyes clenched shut, hands clasped, face
turned up to the sky - this notion is still so wondrous.
That same lightness of sentiment is present in the work of Robert
Malinowski. Robert's finely drawn work, like spun sugar on a page,
constructs an addictive fiction around what thoughts might actually look
like, and how they might behave when free to roam outside our heads. There
are brainstorms, epiphanies, daydreams, pre-occupations, apprehensions, all
translated into simple, beautiful images with wit and humour.
Robert draws his images from the experience of the relationships he has in
his life. While this is an obvious statement, Robert's interpretation is
exceptional. His drawings are refreshingly casual and open, with a minimal
modern composition. These are not forethoughts for paintings; they provide
all the temporal stimulation we seek with line, shape, black, white and
The particularly detailed rendering of the figures, with their evocative
body language, are juxtaposed against the free-flowing symbols that obscure
and abstract the head and face of the figure. Without a specific identity on
any of the figures, as viewers, we're allowed to contextualize the image in
our own experience, we're allowed to know that person as a familiar (without
The symbols that Robert uses in his drawings: hearts, flowers, arrows,
numbers, letters and words, literalize thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
Whether it's the awkward first impressions of two people sitting on a bench,
the bold readiness to love, or the languid acceptance of time passing,
seeing that communication expressed in universal iconography can at least,
put a smile on your face, and at most, make you curious about what your
thoughts could tell about who you are.
Would your mind spill out into a mess of tiny flowers? Would it explode in a
cascade of words and letters? Or would you be overwhelmed by the slings and
arrows of life? Robert Malinowski's drawings make me wonder about all of it,
with my eyes open.
Copyright © 2006, Monica Burman