Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Talisman at Unblurred

This is the grand public opening for the Talisman show. Happening at Unblurred.
This Friday Feb 3rd. 7-11pm.
Quite a few years of work went into this series.

The facebook event is here:


Monday, January 30, 2012


Xtian art

Brian Sherwin brought up the topic that their might be a bias against Christian subject matter in the modern art market.
And "minority religions" might get special preference.

I've studied art in a somewhat typical American education system. I'd consider my Art education, somewhat typical for a Bachelor degree.
That means I've been exposed up the wazoo to Christian art. High school, private lessons and University taught me about Christian art more so than any other type. The Art history books I own & read now are dominated by examples of Christian art.
Even at the University level the time we spent examine and discussing Christian themed art dominated everything else. The time we spent examining Islamic artist, or Buddhist art was miniscule. I could not tell you an Islamic artist off the top of my head. I read somewhere that there are as many images of Buddha as there are Jesus, if not more. But i'd be hard pressed to name a specific Buddhist sculpture or artist.
The only religious art that comes close to the level of exposure in my education is Pagan Art, Greek mythology, sculpture and paintings.
But Christian art dominated. The greatest art created in the western culture is often Christian themed. The sculptures of David, the Sisteen Chapel ceiling, the last judgment, the last supper, the Baldichino, the domed architecture.
Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Lenoardo, Rubens, VanGogh, Guaguin and many of the greatest artist agreed upon mad eChristian themed art. These are the standards everything and everyone else is measured to or rebelled against. Christian art dominates our art education system, research material, and museums in all of Western culture.
So perhaps I am jaded when it comes to modern Christian art because i'm so used to it. Perhaps, I am hypercritical. I tend to see the cliche's, the hypocrisy, and the politics & propaganda easier because the standard has been set so high. It takes A LOT for modern Christian art to impress me and most does not deliver.
So maybe i'm more open to Islamic or Eastern art simply because it's unexplored. It's foreign, exotic, and the undiscovered country. It may have just as much cliche, hypocrisy and propaganda but even that is new to me.
So maybe I am biased. But until art of other religions is on equal footing, it's going to happen.

One thing i have noticed is modern Pagan art is usually filed under "Fantasy" & made a 2nd class art citizen down in the ranks of illustration, comics and record covers. There is great skill in some of this Pagan art. But often it's not taken seriously and really… if you think about it…. if their spiritual beliefs are "fantasy" then couldn't you file all spiritual art as fantasy as well.

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Friday, January 27, 2012


Visual Aids- Postcards Part 2.

Perhaps I spoke too soon.
Got an email from the organization today that my postcard did sell.
A big thank you to the person who bought it.

The email goes on:
"We appreciate your ongoing support. Artists' generosity has always enabled
Visual AIDS to work between contemporary art and AIDS advocacy. With your help,
this season we will provide more Material Grants to HIV-positive artists,
distribute new artist-designed AIDS Awareness editions and produce more
exhibitions, events and publications. We do this to keep a focus on HIV/AIDS and
to encourage dialogue about its history, the contributions of people living with
HIV, and how we can all work to end AIDS. "

I guess the solution is to get my ass up there personally to see the show and take photos of my own.
And I suppose that should NOT be too difficult.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Visual Aids - Postcards from the Edge 2012

It's nice to help out. It's great to think your art is having some positive affect on the world.
Sometimes donating your art to a good cause…. something you believe in… can have that effect.
And sometimes you just feel used and pointless.

Maybe it's not intentional.
I mean the Postcards from the Edge has grown to 1,475 participating artists.
It's kinda easy to get lost in that sea. It's kinda hard to feel special amongst all that.
It's great that they raised over $83,000 for the cause from our artwork.
And I understood that i would not get anything from it.
and i didn't … not even a photo of my work on the wall.
It's not that i'm asking for a cut. (although some artists say i should.)
But a photo of my work in a NYC gallery would be nice. THAT was one of their selling points when asking for donations... your art would be SEEN.
I'd like to show off and be proud of my involvement. But i can't see my art in any of the photos posted.
Again I'm not expecting the staff to take and post 1475 pictures for the event. But some better wall shots would be nice.
Notice the photos they DO take are almost of the people who attend and the art… all donated.. is the backdrop. and almost impossible to see.

I'm sure many of these artists wanted to help out thinning they'd get some sort of exposure. .. you know like a photo of their work on the wall.
maybe I'm whining. maybe my work just didn't stand out enough. Maybe I should have driven to NYC myself to make sure I took the photo.
Either way, at a 1475 participants; I'll have to re- think if i'm going to do this again.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Rocking Horse

A new gallery is in the making down in Lawrenceville. Further proof that Larryville is the coolest spot in town.
The Rocking Horse is a nice little space, obviously a store front from a former life. Right down the street from a Gallery on 43rd.
Their first Open show is this Friday Jan 27th, 7-10pm. If you are heading down to the Gallery Crawl. MIght as well hit this place too.
Friday, January 27, 7-10PM
Artwork will be juried by gallery members and a guest judge for consideration of a Rocking Horse award.

Rocking Horse Artspace
179 43rd St. PGH, PA 15201

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Monday, January 23, 2012


Art Success Quote

Luck plays no role in art world success. It's your own responsibility to create your success, which is a result of making thousands of constant decisions - focused, professional tenacity - day after day of keeping commitments to yourself and to those you make promises to. If you fail, it's all your fault. If you succeed, you deserve all the credit.
~(Mark Kostabi)

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Sunday, January 22, 2012


Was the opening a success?

How can I tell?
By the number of people that show up?
By the feedback given?
How many works sell?
IF anything sells?

It's tempting to judge an opening by the audience.
One would hope that more people would mean your art is seen by a larger audience; but I've noticed that the bigger the crowd the less they care.
With a bigger crowd your tend to get a higher % of posers, hangers on and hipster douche bags. People who walk in for the free beer and food and never look at the art.
So a smaller crowd is not necessarily a bad thing. You'd have a larger % of people who actually care about the work and the artist.

Feedback is a bit tricky. I rarely get negative feedback. So either I am that good, or everyone is just being polite. I take every comment in stride. I've learned to trust my own judgement.

In this current economy selling ANYTHING is considered a victory. I should a few pieces to the small crowd. And for that I am really, really grateful.
I connected to someone enough. Some one cared enough.
Those little sold stickers make it all worthwhile.


Friday, January 20, 2012



The Talisman show is opening. I start this idea in 2009 and i could not wait any longer to show it.
A series of paintings dealing with average people wearing wrestling masks doing very non- wrestling things. The Talisman mask is an object meant to give the bearer supernatural power or protection. Luche Libre masks are featured because of their aesthetic value and design potential. Stylistically, detail is eliminated for bold colors making it almost cartoon like; which refers back to the idea of having super powers.
The sneak peek show is this Saturday 7-11pm.
At the Morris Levy Gallery . A new space for art, music and performance located at 3634 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15201
The Grand opening for the public will be at Unblurred. Friday February 3 7pm- to 11pm.

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