PRINT January 2003

Dennis Cooper

ANDREW HAHN PAINTS UNSOLVABLE MYSTERIES. He creates them with the same meticulous objectivity that detectives employ to solve a crime. In Hahn’s case, the evidence isn’t a dead body or discarded bullet casings but rather the images popular culture generates to represent the horrific. His astonishingly skillful paintings of visual tropes used by television and movies to elicit the frisson of actual crime scenes are strange double takes on the visceral and discomfiting. They suggest frightening occurrences that have been romanticized in the name of entertainment and then revised back into images of pure uncertainty. Hahn calls them paranoid paintings, meaning that their potency lies in their untrustworthiness. For while he goes to extraordinary lengths to mimic the video grabs from news shows and “reality”-based TV programs like Dateline NBC and The New Detectives that form his source

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