Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Let the record play...

I find work like this often needs explanation.
Although people are certainly free decide what they think of it on thier own without me, or in spite of what I may say; I occasionally want to reaffirm that there is a thought process happening here. 

Define the problem: Paint on a record.
Art school teaches that circular compostions are the most difficult. Ideally there is no top or bottom. So it should rotate; and that keeps well with it being a record... that spins. 
So what can one do on a circular space? Espcially when the artist has been trained to create on rectangular canvases? Abstract, all over painitng, like Pollock? Or a  geometric pattern like the Arab mosques?
There is the practical problems of anticipating how it will be hung or displayed. Records can be hung on the wall, but often we are used to seeing them flat, below eye- level.
Also consider the meaning of a circle. The circle is sacred, there is no ending no beginning; it is infinite. The never ending cycle in nature, both macro and micro- cosims. 

It will also be seen as a LP record. A long- playing 33rpm musical record. Something of a past relic, and appreciated by only a select few DJ's and collectors. A fragile instrument of the past, but still to be respected since it helped to create the modern culture where music permeates every minute of our 24 hours. 
The ridges of the record emphasize the macro & micro cycles. And the practical problem of the center sticker implying a bulls-eye to deal with. 

So with that all in mind... what do I have to say on a record? What can I do within these limitations in a way that emphasizes my strengths (figures)?

Well... I suppose.. I can do this:

Realize the nudity and sexual content is just an attention getting device. There's actually something much... deeper (ahem), going on here. 
First of all it IS a circular composition. It is meant to be hung by existing center hole. (ahem) There is no top or bottom. It looks just as strong from any rotation. I signed it on the back so as not to influence the orientation. But other than the signature I kept the back as unmarked as I could. Out of reverence. I wanted people to know what record was used/lost in the making of this new piece. 
I used the center sticker as a proportion guide to create a "Flower of Life" pattern engraved into the white primer. The pattern is grooved in on top of the existing grooves. Creating a harmony of macro & micro.
The figures are posed in a circle on the bullseye circle. Again they have no (ahem) top or bottom and it can be viewed no matter the rotation. It fits with the Flower of Life Pattern because it is very common to use flower metaphors when describing women and espcially female sex organs (Thank you Georgia O'Keefe and Judy Chicago). 
The circle may be sacred, the Flower of Life is sacred, but so is sex.
Taoism teaches that sex is one of the most sacred things in existance. Here we have two women, similar but distinctly different fitting together nicely; like Yin and Yang. (Oh, and let me point out that Taoism does not condemn homosexuality, they're quite cool with it.) 
But we do have a lesbian theme, and not just because I'm the one painting it. The Flower of Life can be seen as a web that creates a variety of geometric shapes and patterns, a web of connectivity. The sacred geometry in the Flower of Life created the Tree of Life in Jewish Kabbalah. A structure of infinte relationships connecting the many. 
What does that sound like ? The Lesbian chart. The Chart. The web of interconnectivity and the various shapes those relationships take.

So... in conclusion... the hot lesbian sex is just a Trojan horse of titliation to a Mandala of sacred contemplation and interconnectivity.


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