THADDEUS STRODE Everything We Fear Is In Ourselves
15 March - 11 May 2013
We are happy to present the solo exhibition Everything We Fear Is In Ourselves by American artist Thaddeus Strode. This will be the fourth time Strode has exhibited at Nils Stærk and on this occasion he will incorporate the entire gallery space exhibiting both sculptures and paintings.
For the show, Strode has created a series of masks each titled Pelican Thoughts. The masks are colorized, roughly sculpted, and primitive in their expression. According to Strode, these Pelican Thoughts are fleeting thoughts that show themselves to us and thereafter evaporate. In each of the sculptures we are presented with a character, a peculiar expression or a grimace, which is then sub-titled, such as The Ostrich or The Deformed. These characters should not be seen as separate parts but as different elements that together form the human. The sculptures are in dialogue with each other, the public, the audience and with our perception of us. As spiritual sentinels they remind us of the complexities of personality.
The mechanics of language and puns are examined in Strode's Fumetti paintings. The word fumetti is Italian (directly translated as: puffs of smoke) and means comic book. In the paintings the reference to comics is clear. This appears through his use of speech bubbles and his suggestive approach to the painting. He mixes abstract and figurative elements with text, which often becomes a form of borderline black humor. As with Pelican Thoughts the Fumetti paintings are a catalyst for dialogue between the text pieces, the speech bubbles and the audience.
We also see Strode's characteristic application of vastly diverse materials in both his sculptures and paintings.
This approach gives the painting a careless touch that is enhanced furthermore by the artist's embracement of elements from pop culture. References from comics, movies, rock music, literature and graffiti are all unpretentiously mixed together.
Thaddeus Strode was born in 1964 in Santa Monica, California, USA. He graduated from Otis/Parsons Art Institute, Los Angeles, California Institute of the Arts (BA) and Valencia, California. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.