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Balancing Act: Atlas Twerked Print

Thomas Brodhead

United States

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About The Artwork

DROSSELMEYER: What a feat it is (what a tasty treat, indeed) to eat one’s cake as part of your feed. But triglycerides tend to lend it an ersatz imprimatur: “What’s that?” you ask. “It just can’t be done! Balancing the benign with the malign neutralizes none!” “Oh, yes,” I’ll say, “my frabjous son. Through chromomeres and transposons (and by every beast of burden), our history is ripe with derring-do deeds, its true worth ascribed to no one.” “But we’re not forever, and all things must stop!” “That’s right," I say, “Callou! You daft fop!” DROSSELMEYER: Let us go then, you and me (not I, but me), across vast stretches of polymer seas to an archipelago made of plastic. It’ll support our weight (and a dodo bird’s, too), by a sustenance hydromiasmic: “Yikes! That?” You screamed. “I see what you’ve memed, but it’s really not anything prescient. You simply must read the whole text in full, but then the semantics are vacant.” “Reading?” I demur, “What’s that?” I shout. “I’ve lost all sense of tempo and measure. Skimming’s for water, you see, my boy, and trench foot will never you suffer!” DROSSELMEYER: Polypeptides fuse with DNA to produce brave new life forms. Creatures of unending slipperiness then form who slither among themselves in search of grippable prey. The feat grows more and more impossible as oil becomes as commonplace in the construction of an organism’s bio-housing as calcium carbonate had been in casing of billion-year life forms that once roamed the sea. A comet sets the planet ablaze and Laniakea grows cold. Text (c) 2020 Thomas Brodhead

Details & Dimensions

Print:Giclee on Fine Art Paper

Size:9 W x 12 H x 0.1 D in

Size with Frame:14.25 W x 17.25 H x 1.2 D in

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Delivery Time:Typically 5-7 business days for domestic shipments, 10-14 business days for international shipments.

A native of St. Louis who’s lived in middle Tennessee most of his life, Thomas Brodhead studied classical music theory, history, and composition at Oberlin in the 1980s. During those years, he pored over classical scores while studying orchestral and chamber works, unaware that he was absorbing geometric graphic design that’s been in his blood ever since. After college, he worked as a classical sheet music editor and engraver (music typesetter) for 20 years, writing original computer programs to set music notation so that it conformed to the best Greek proportions and geometries. (Importantly, he produced a Critical Performing Edition of the Fourth Symphony of Charles Ives, a work so rhythmically complex that it requires at least two—if not three—conductors to perform.) But arranging black glyphs on white paper grew tiresome, and starting in 2009, he turned to color and began to paint. At first, his paintings were cartoonish and comical, always paired with tongue-in-cheek artist statements on the meaning of each piece. Over time, though, he began to take his work more seriously, exploring color and geometry on large canvases (up to 4 feet by 3 feet), but never failing to pen an accompanying whimsical statement. But more and more the whimsy veiled serious social commentary, often on the dangers of transhumanism (the integration of humans and technology) and the infantilizing effects of social media. Painting and writing thus combined in a Wagnerian Gesamtkunswerk, in which the combination of the two formed the total artwork. He joked that his early humorous style—cartoonish and splattery, with an emphasis on narrative—was “on an overlooked axis connecting Jackson Pollock and Norman Rockwell.” But after studying the color theory of Albert Munsell and discovering the joyous geometries of the artist Stuart Davis, his work took a sharp turn. Still working on larger canvases, he began planning each work in detail, defining the exact composition of its figures and determining its color scheme in advance. The execution of the paintings took longer and longer, one even clocking in at 160 hours. Borrowing a technique from 20th century classical music—and a technique perhaps never before applied to visual art—he produced a series of fractalized paintings that, at times, have a dizzying paint-by-numbers quality.

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