William Paul Thomas is a painter whose work explores broad human themes such as the relationship of family to community, through representational portraiture and his ongoing multimedia project, Hot Pink Brick.
His current body of work, represented at Anchorlight in the exhibition Bricks Need Mortar, expands upon the concept of community created through family to consider larger communities as structures, and the people participating in those communities as binding agents. Inspired by realizations about his own familial community made while rummaging through old photos, Thomas has created a body of work that reflects on the ability of an image to create bonds among people as well as to remember them by. Bricks Need Mortar uses the reoccurring image of the cinderblock to process the collision of childhood memories with adult insights.
Brought to you by The Black on Black Project
Opening Reception: Saturday February 18th, 4:00-7:00
Reception sponsored by ArtsNow
From the artist:
“Thumbing through some of the snapshots from a photo album that my mother began compiling in 1992, brought me to an adorable image of my younger sisters and myself at home in our Catholic school uniforms. More interesting than how cute we are in our matching maroon and grey outfits, is the background against which all that awkwardness and charm is positioned. My mother, possibly with the help of my grandfather, had painted the cement wall and staircase, a vibrant hot pink. I have thought about this picture, that staircase and wall, for the past 5 years on a consistent basis.
That remarkable color and my mother’s artistic choice to bring warmth to that cold apartment unit for her family, my sisters and I, has left an indelible impact on my thoughts about how aesthetics overlap with bonding and nurturing practices. I make images to bond with and remember people. My latest project involves inviting others to help me reinforce the memory of my mother’s painting. I have used social media to distill that memory down to a “pink brick.” Others can interpret this form through their own lenses at http://hotpinkbrick.tumblr.com.”