Storm Tharp - Photo by Alice Boyle from the New York Biennual 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 4:20PM
Alice

Storm Tharp builds his strange and beautiful characters by first drawing contours on the page with water. Before the water has a chance to dry, he applies drops of mineral ink, resulting in unruly and expansive bleeds on the paper. This process is repeated in various instances to build forms and light sources. Once the adequate amount of ink has been dropped and dried, the artist manipulates the form in a variety of ways, such as drawing and erasing. Tharp takes his inspiration from a wide-ranging set of influences including 1970s American cinema and Japanese portrait prints. His characters have names, histories, and narratives, but they suggest multiple interpretations. Is the woman clutching a knife in Pigeon (After Sunshen) defending herself or is she a vengeful murderess? Is the girl in Dolores tethered by the medal around her neck or free like the bird perched on her head? In these enigmatic portraits Tharp investigates the performance of identity and the point where the myth of a person supercedes reality and becomes truth.

 

Article originally appeared on Alice Boyle (http://www.aliceboyle.co.uk/).
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