Thomas Campbell "Ampersand" @ Joshua Liner Gallery, NYCJuxtapoz // Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014
Joshua Liner Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by former Juxtapoz cover artist Thomas Campbell entitled Ampersand. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery featuring painting, sculpture, original bronzes, and hand-sewn works. The artist will be in attendance for the opening reception on Thursday, June 12th, 2014.
Thomas Campbell works in a variety of mediums—music, film, photography, sculpture, and fine art. The diverse nature of his oeuvre is part of his appeal. Every element of what he does feels fresh due to his many means of inspiration. Not just the varying techniques he uses, but the many countries and continents he has traveled through, as well as the talented people he surrounds himself with: all resources of motivation for the artist to continually create. For the plethora of mediums Campbell works in, the artist’s hand is unmistakably his—an aesthetic as distinct as a thumbprint.
The artist frequently utilizes gourds, tying them into all aspects of what he produces, be it with his sculptures, bronze works, or paintings.
"I feel there is a natural correlation between what I do and what I draw, [my drawings have] similar lines to the structure of gourds. I have been really drawn to them for a long time and started incorporating them into many areas of my practice. I like the idea that they are natural plants and that I can incorporate them. I think a lot of my work celebrates life and the strange existence of this funny plant on this strange and surreal planet. Gourds embody that weird mystery, naturally."
The gourd is an historically versatile element, utilized as a musical instrument, as a tool, for toys and jewelry, and for life-giving sustenance! With their unique and distinct shape, it seems fitting that Campbell is intrinsically captivated by them.
The artist has been working in cast bronze sculptures since 2006, sculpting in a variety of materials—wood, gourds, shoelaces, nails, screws, clay, fiberglass, resin. The artist collaborates with bronze master Sean Monahan and master patina expert Karl Reichley to realize these sculptures. A combination of the lost-wax bronze casting process and a mixture of hot acid stains for the patina is utilized.
Aside from sculpture, Campbell is well respected for his sewn works—multicolored pieces of paper, joined together. Campbell was inspired to start sewing paper by his friends Margaret Kilgallen and Barry McGee and began quilting in 1999. The artist’s sewn works were a personal craft, privately using the method for many years before creating pieces for exhibition. “I waited until it evolved into a space where it felt authentically my own. The paper and different found materials I use in the quilts are constantly acquired. I am always on the hunt for good bubble wrap, rice bags from foreign countries— like Moroccan ones—good patterns on the inside of envelopes.” Small drawings are also incorporated as well as carefully opened wrappers from his wife’s favorite chocolate.