April 22, 2014

“Fixation” exhibition at the Zhou B Arts Center in Chicago

read the review “Portraits of Desire” by Chicago’s South Side Weekly

“Terri Thomas executed her “Untitled” clown with academic fastidiousness. She concealed every brushstroke, smoothed every skin tone, and evenly diffused the painting’s light across a uniform burgundy background. The painting develops a motif of concealment that makes the clown the obsessive object. The gloves disrupt a tender tummy-touch and hide the source of motherly nourishment. The face paint blurs the clown’s feminine features—already challenged by the clown’s depilated skull and manly wrinkles—but nevertheless references an effeminate clown archetype. It grafts on false emotions that betray a deeper sadness just beyond a carefully resigned and benevolent smile.
Despite the figure’s absurdity, its hidden, weary pensiveness asserts dignity and commands respect. The visible attempt to conceal the body flags the painting’s emotional evasiveness. Thomas teases with the clown’s thinly veiled thoughtfulness. The barely legible affect is a visual breadcrumb that hints at the understated tragedy in the clown’s drawn expression and fake tears.” – Stephen Urchick


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