aarne anton
art & antiques

hawkins bolden > b.1914 d.2005

Hawkins Bolden's small urban home was squeezed between a car wash and a tall brick privacy wall; shadowed by the wall was a room-size garden that Bolden loved and protected from harm by "scarecrows" that he made from found objects. His scarecrows are attached to posts; their faces are made from punctured pans, washtubs, and coffeepots that are alleyway find, and old rags hang from them to blow in the wind. Yet when his assemblages are spotlighted in white-walled rooms, they bear a clear resemblance to modern abstract sculptures.


Bolden, who was half Creole and part American Indian, was blinded in a baseball accident when he was eight years old and never saw his amazing creations. "I been gardening since I was nine-it’s all I can do" he claimed. "My little nephew told me that if you make eyes in a bucket with a screwdriver, that'll keep the birds away." Bolden's scarecrows are intended to be placed outside, but many buyers prefer to display them indoors as sculpture. Collectors who come to folk art from a modern or fine art perspective believe in Bolden's sculpture as art; each collector will have to make his or her own decision as to where his work best fits.