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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kyle Thompson- Artist of the Month - March

After delving into the work of Chicago-born photographer Kyle Thompson (our March Artist of the Month), I've identified three main themes that are delicately strung throughout his imagery. Isolation, hope, and serenity. Some images feature only one of these themes, some images nail all three, but any given image of his is able to stand alone and still be powerful.

This particular image catches my eye, for obvious reasons, but reading further into it, it displays one of those main themes I mentioned, which is Hope:

Carcass (2012)
The hands are reaching up towards something but they are more welcoming than strained. In other images we see a light in the distance, signifying some kind of salvation or clarity.

It may not be obvious at first, but when I look at the next image, I find it delivers a strong sense of Serenity:

Untitled (2012)
The Isolated figure is shrouded and appears to be helplessly hanging high above ground but certain clues tell me that the figure is perhaps not hanging, but jumping/levitating. His toes are pointed, his spine is curved forward, his arms are relaxed, and the fabric is not taut. The idea that he might actually be in control of this situation, along with the billowing white fabric and blue/green hued background, is definitely giving me a sense of Serenity.

Here is an image that displays the final of the main themes I've translated from the body of Kyle's work…Isolation:

Untitled (2013)

She appears to be stranded, which I take from her lack of belongings (even lack of shoes). But there's that Hope in the distance, in the form of a foggy, shadowy building that almost looks like a castle. And just round it off, there's also a sense of Serenity with the calm beach, muted color scheme, and the relaxed stance of the figure. An image that captures all three themes.

I believe this "theme threading", let's call it, is such an important thing to deliver as an artist because once you have successfully created your own brand, or "look", people will be able to recognize your work immediately, even if they have never seen that particular piece before. It is something that Darryll has established in his career, with the common thread being society+technology and its effects on our perception. I believe Kyle Thompson has achieved this as well and is giving us another way to define art.

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