Who is Moses Hawk

In the mid-80’s I owned a painting company and was also involved with a group of artists rehabing buildings in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington D.C. At one point we had bought a small 17 unit apartment building and gutted it to create nine very unique interlocking living spaces. Each of us designed & built our own units. We found through DC records that the building was built in the 1950’s and originally called The Mohawk, so we kept the name.

When we arrived, the neighborhood was very sketchy and run down. But we were exotic pioneers, young enough to embrace it all. One afternoon I was standing in my raw unfinished space staring at the plywood floors and insulation walls and decided I need to order a phone. I called C&P Telephone to place the order, (mobile phones were not even something anyone could even imagine at that point.) In placing the order, I found out I had to pay to have the phone unlisted, but the receptionist suggested I could use any name for the listing and have the phone billed to me. On a complete spur of the moment I came up with Moses Hawk, Mo Hawk for short. And that’s where the name started. After a while Moses was receiving credit card offers and junk mail.

Fast forward to the 1990’s and the beginning of social media. I was with a friend and we were talking about this new Couchsurfing and Facebook stuff and he suggested I really need to check it out. They suggested I start going by Moses Hawk and off it went. Then it became my artist nom de plume.  Many people only know me as Moses, which is funny, but really in this day & age it’s not all that uncommon.

Fast forward again to right now, and having a pseudonym opens up possibilities to engage on a variety of levels. With social media we are all providers, we serve our audience. By using this handle it allows experimentation and connections which keeps this stale experience unpredictable.

Review: The word “photography,” in its literal translation from Greek, means “drawing with light.” The best of Ming Smith’s photographs, however, seem to draw against light. They feed off of shadows and drink up haze. Revealing themselves slowly

“Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.”
– Alan Alda (

A little-known 20th-century photographer’s work is vital to this moment. His unwavering commitment to humanism and photography made him an icon to generations of students at the University of Texas. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinion

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