Art Feature: J.T. Thompson22 Feb 2018, Posted by Art in
Art: Labyrinth XXV by J.T. Thompson, @jtoriginals
ART FEATURE: J.T. THOMPSON
I was born and raised in south western Ohio. I received a scholarship to study painting at the Columbus College of Art and Design, and I have called Columbus home ever since. I work is included in the collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, the Hilton downtown, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and Northern Kentucky University. I received Individual Artist Grants from the Greater Columbus Arts Council in 2014 and 2016, and I have been selected for the Ohio Arts Council’s upcoming 2017 Biennial Juried Exhibition.
I’ve been making art since I was five or six, but it was my seventh grade art teacher Mrs. Spindler who pushed me in an artistic direction. At the time I wasn’t too into art; I was more interested in talking to the girls I shared a table with in her class.I did too much flirting, and one time she got really mad at me and told me to go sit at a table by myself at the back of the room. She said “I don’t care what it is, but you better have a drawing by the end of the class or I’m going to fail you.” I didn’t really have an idea of what to do, and I just took my shoe off, moved the laces around a little bit, and did a line drawing of the shoe. And it actually looked like my shoe. It was enough to impress Mrs. Spindler. She told me I should stop talking to girls and focus on art. This moment of being scolded by my middle school teacher precipitated an important shift in my self-understanding. Her positive feedback and encouragement allowed me to take art seriously, and through that she gave me a mode of self-expression that has played a large role in my life.
I’ve been in Ohio all my life. I grew up in Kettering, Ohio. After high school I attended classes at a local college for a year and a half until a sister’s friend took note of my artwork. She was attending the Columbus College of Art and Design at the time, and suggested I apply. I received a partial scholarship to study painting, and I’ve been in central Ohio ever since.
I work in a style I call Geometric Surrealism. I abstract and manipulate physical spaces to create a highly distorted vision of reality. My work is a metaphoric exploration of the individual’s process of composing an understanding of the world, as influenced by the subconscious workings of the psyche. As an artist I am deeply intrigued by the subjectivity of the mind, and its capacity for skewing perspectives of external events or the physical world.
My approach to exploring psychological concepts is highly abstracted. My work starts with metaphors relating to architecture – rooms, staircases, hallways. These spaces are stretched and contorted, almost to the point of becoming paradox illusions, to twist spaces that should be readily familiar into places that are fragmented and uncertain.
My work employs multiple views of spaces and corridors, simplified and abstracted to produce a contemporary composition of geometric shapes and planes with graphic over-tones. Varied light sources are added to create an intriguing sense of spatial depth. Perspective is played with through overlapping layers, scale and foreshortening, helping to create an illusion of spatial extent, and then breaking it.
This challenging framework offers the viewer a suggestion of space and perspective that seems disjointed or distorted. The shifting physical spaces mirror the shifting interplay between the varied psychological perspectives of the viewer’s mind.
The inspiration comes from observing objects and shadows in everyday life and translating that to canvas. Some of the things you’ll see in my paintings are the off kilter use of one point, two point and three point perspective or (X,Y,Z plus place in time) Some deal more with flat shapes and movement.
Some have a surreal atmosphere and misleading horizon lines. I will use Line, Form, and color to move the eye through the composition and distort the space.
The inspiration comes from looking at everyday life and shadows and translating that to my canvases. Some of the things you’ll see in my paintings are the off kilter use of one point and two point perspective. Some deal more with flat shapes and movement. Some have a surreal atmosphere and misleading horizon lines. I will use color to move the eye through the composition and distort the space.
The creative process just happens now. I don’t have a sketch to go by. Usually if I do make a sketch it transforms into something else on the canvas. It’s not a thought process, it’s more like I am a tool of the muse in laying down the line work and building a composition. I do collect reference images, but when I’m making the compositions I don’t have anything in front of me, I just start breaking it out. I don’t have any plan going in, I just start mapping out the movement.
Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH)
Downtown Hilton (Columbus, OH)
Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, KY)
Greater Columbus Convention Center (Columbus, OH)
Creative Boom “Geometric Surrealism: JT Thompson’s incredible labyrinth style paintings” August 2017
On Art & Aesthetics “Distorted Spaces, Misleading Lines: the Amazing Geometric Surrealism of JT Thompson” August 2017
Professional Artist Magazine “Artist Spotlight” June 2017
Niji Magazine “Meet JT Thompson” May 2017
Columbus Alive “Exhibition Preview: JT Thompson’s Into the Labyrinth at RAW Gallery” March 2017
Ragazine.cc “Artist Spotlight” September 2016
Dayton City Paper “JT Thompson’s Illusion at Triangle Gallery” June 2016
Columbus Alive “Exhibit preview: “Paint By Numbers” showcases unique and rich collaboration” March 2015
CS Gallery Artist Round Table Interview Series January 2015
Now It’s Dark Magazine “Spotlight: Columbus Artist JT Thompson” August 2014
Pittsburgh Tribune Review “Boxheart’s ‘Art Inter/National’ builds a strong reputation “ January 2008
RECOGNITION & AWARDS
Baltimore LED Art Billboard, selected artist, 2016
Greater Columbus Arts Council, “Artists in the Community,” 2016
Greater Columbus Arts Council, “Artists in the Community,” 2014
Thompson’s newest paintings from the past year will be in solo exhibition from February 5 – March 30 at the Ohio Art League X Space, 400 West Rich St, Columbus, OH 43215.