Taylor O. Thomas
"My current work involves the intertwining of painting, drawing, and handwriting: techniques that hinge upon personal gesture. The resulting abstractions require my whole body and mind—both inextricably tied and expressed through visual image. Using
acrylic, oil paint, pastels, and collaged material, I produce traces of my physical and mental movements. A semblance of my identity comes to the surface as I sprawl marks onto canvas and paper. The act of repeating gestures and selectively covering or extracting them with paint is my way of questioning the value of a tactile mark in our contemporary world. As I channel this intuitive act of painting, I also consider the internal and external systems of control that keep self-expression (and often self-connection) at arms reach. Tubed lines frame my canvases, rigid bars jut in front of strokes, and layers of color hide unraveling curves. I intentionally use these plastic methods to toy with my human marks, sometimes disrupting and other times coaxing them further along. My works divulge my relentless establishment and release of the self as I lean into my overarching concern for how the material encapsulates the mental. How can gestural expression provide an interface for someone to experience his or her own mind-body connection? By digesting my past and present states of being in the world around me, I allow personal narratives to saturate my abstractions. I begin with words, texts, and memories, but it is through my indexical mark making that a valuable translation occurs—the movement from specific to potential, written to unwinding, individual to inviting. My aim is for the formal and emotive qualities of these works to extend beyond a singular story. May they, instead, become and launching points for viewers to consider their own concepts of self, of contemporary expression, and of the deeper concerns that drive us all." - Taylor O. Thomas
Taylor O. Thomas was born in Birmingham, Alabama and now lives and works as a visual artist in Tampa, Florida. Thomas’s abstract paintings and drawings have been exhibited in galleries and private collections in the United States, Italy, and China. In 2012, she graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College with a BA in Studio Art, and has since used painting as a means of investigating human tendencies, identity formation, and the interconnectedness between the body and mind. Thomas views her works as physical iterations of the inner self, noting, “My layered gestures serve as indexical traces of my mental and emotional concerns. Mark making is
my way of creating an interface between my personal narrative and the abstracted reinterpretations of that narrative that extend it beyond myself. When confronting my works, viewers are given a chance to recognize and question their own relationships between the internal, the external, and the varying degrees of self-expression today.” Thomas recently received the University Graduate Fellowship from the University of South Florida, where she is currently earning her MFA degree. Her works are represented by Nomad Collective (Nashville, TN) and Emily Friedman Fine Art (Los Angeles, CA).