Friday, May 11

Daily Art : "False Histories and confusions in Time 1886" by Stephen Thorpe

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As I am in Edinburgh this week, I want to feature a Scotland based artist on ‘Daily Art’. And of course I have just the artist in mind - Stephen Thorpe, an up and coming artist, who is heading straight for the stratosphere. Graduating in 2010 from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen with a First Class Honours degree in painting, he jump-started his career by receiving the Alexandrina McKenzie Legacy and the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) New Contemporaries Award. His work has recently been featured in Saatchi Gallery Online’s top ten weekly paintings. 

Thorpe likes to paint interior spaces, which he draws from his childhood memories of places he lived in or visited. This imparts his scenes with a strange familiarity. I almost get a sense of déjà vu when I look at his paintings; as if I have been in that room before, maybe I have walked on that tiled floor or sat on the patterned chair. 

However, despite the familiarity something feels amiss. A strange edgy quality which he achieves by distorting perspective, toying with architectural authenticity and spatial illusion and filling the rooms with ballast-patterning, furniture and ornaments, some unidentified fabric and un-natural geometric forms. According to him, “this is designed to question and test the viewers pre-conceptions of space, objects and their relationship in any given setting”.

Image courtesy Stephen Thorpe

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