Levis DIe, 2013, artist Bjoern Thomas, ed. 6 + 2 AP, 100x160cm Photograph by Bjoern Thomas

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Levis DIe, 2013, artist Bjoern Thomas, ed. 6 + 2 AP, 100x160cm

Bjoern Thomas

Germany

Photography

Size: 63 W x 39.4 H x 1.6 in

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Levis DIe, 2013, artist Bjoern Thomas, ed. 6 + 2 AP, 100x160cm

Bjoern Thomas

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Art Description

Photography: Color, C-type, Diasec on Other.

In a recent series of works, shown in distinctive international art fairs, Bjoern Thomas
focuses his lenses on an underground group of modern society, that is, the gangsters. He
photographs released prisoners from Los Angeles correctional facilities not in their prison cells, but in
expressive situations that explore the complexities of criminal actions; rather than voicing their
injustice and deviant behaviors. As STEVEN G. BRANDL maintains, “Gangsters, in particular, became
larger than life, capturing the imagination of millions of Americans. Gangsters like ‘‘Machine Gun’’
Kelly, Al Capone, ‘‘Ma’’ Barker, and others became notorious heroes.” Bjoern Thomas’s two large
format works, “Bloody Supper” and “OMG-Oh My Gangsters” stand, in first view, in sharp contrast to
iconic images of Christianity where Christ and his twelve apostles are pictured. “Bloody Supper” is
clearly a parody of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper”; the bloody wine which symbolizes Christ’s blood and
barefoot for the washing act. On a second view you will realize that the gangsters, who were in total
around 100 years in prison, write “bloody supper” with their finger signs. Bjoern Thomas has - chosen
Christ - out of the group, while doing that he got inspired by the only one with a real beard and a
“crucifix” on his breast. To choose the betrayer, Judas, he leaves with the audience. While a belief in
crime is necessary to make a gang with their symbols, including hand gestures and tattoos, which
are apparent in the works, another viewpoint is not invalid and that is the possibility of change from a
gangster to a saint or vice versa and this is where the binary opposition and the logic collapse. The
background of “last Supper” is like a fresco, which adds an air of medievalism to the work. Watch
also the making of video: https://vimeo.com/69996615


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