The Drawers - Robert Malinowski   Commentary written by Monica Burman

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Off The Top Of My Head

When 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 grey.

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 a) face.

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