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Frog Print

Thomas Brodhead

United States

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About The Artwork

DOODLESACK: Polygonal Frog! Wherefore thou goest? ABEDNEGO: Man, I’m diggin’ this new flesh like a vitamin deficiency quenched with flavored chewables! My quadriceps have become quadrilaterals, my deltoids are purely triangular, and my biceps and triceps have two heads and three! Tee-hee! Ribbit-eee! DOODLESACK: O, hapless amphibian, canst thou not see thy habitat’s afire, and all things once wet and familiar now wax dry and most alien? Thy home’s but a desert, thy mating pool a hell cistern where tadpoles e’er want to sprout dewy wings to escape a boiling death, lest they reduce in their skin to unpalatable pustules? ABEDNEGO: Dude, keep your seminal vesicles in your pantaloons! Don’t get in a tissy over change, it’s the natural order for things, and that’s what’s hot! E-LEC-TRIC-I-TY! It sends your memes in the bat of an eye where bats do not fly! It makes your attention span positively achondroplasic! It dulls your brain while mollifying the mind! Word . . . word? DOODLESACK: Absurd, you guileless toad, you taxonomic ninny! How dare you impugn our grand progress and make false claims that it spins us retrograde! I’ll have you skinned and spray-salted, then roasted on a spit! Why, you . . . ABEDNEGO: Aha, my brotha’ . . . see what just happened? On the turn of a bitcoin you’ve lost your balance sheet and gone block-chain bonkers! Chill, my man . . . transhumanism will fit you like a glove, and you’ll SHINE in your electric-colored meme-coat, you dig? DOODLESACK: O pusillanimous polyhedra! Save your sartorial savvy for one more kin than kind! Take that! (He impales the frog on a stick. Picking it up and examining it, he gasps as it melts and drips greenish-blue tar onto the orange floor below. The stick transforms in his hand to a thin line that extends at both ends to meet each horizon. The sound of uneaten crickets grows louder and louder. Fade to black.) (c) 2019 by Thomas Brodhead

Details & Dimensions

Print:Giclee on Fine Art Paper

Size:10 W x 8 H x 0.1 D in

Size with Frame:15.25 W x 13.25 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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