Reminiscent of the vacation-themed paintings of Thomas McKnight (all strangely devoid of human activity, perhaps suggesting the pleasantries of earth following a Rapture in which no one has been left behind), this work seems to address the ambiguity of existence and what may await us in the great beyond. Perhaps it is a portrayal of the emptiness of purgatory as experienced by the recently deceased minister Fred Phelps, who—for being the hate monger that he was—rightly deserves an ironic afterlife trapped in a rainbow-filled room of emptiness and forlorn. On the other hand, the work may simply be a cry for sexual release by the artist in the form of a polychromatic personal ad intended for Craig's List. Or perhaps it represents the Renaissance heterosexual's ideal vagina: colorful, inviting, and obviously unsullied by another man's seed. Whatever meaning the viewer may take from Fuck Me, its seamless color-value transitions and clean outlines would befit placement in the waiting room of a public health clinic frequented by young mothers and those awaiting STD test results.
Print:Giclee on Fine Art Paper
Size:12 W x 9 H x 0.1 D in
Size with Frame:17.25 W x 14.25 H x 1.2 D in
Ready to Hang:Yes
Packaging:Ships in a Box
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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