Sep 8, 2016
I have a couple exciting items to share with you this week.
First, I will be a part of a great three-person show titled Hot Topic: A Photographic Response to Climate Change. The exhibition, curated by Dan Shepherd, includes DM Witman and Daniel Kukla, along with myself and will open this Saturday, September 10th at GALLERY 1/1 in Seattle, WA. The gallery address is 2856 NW Market Street #2G, Seattle WA 98107 and the opening will take place between 6-9pm. If you would like more information about the exhibit and Gallery 1/1 click here.
The other good news, I was accepted into the prestigious Review Santa Fe Photo Festival at CENTER. CENTER is a non-profit organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico that was founded in 1994 to support, honor and provide opportunities to gifted and committed photographers (like myself). The Review Santa Fe Photo Festival invites only 100 photographers to meet with leading industry professional for portfolio viewings. This event will not happen until November of this year but CENTER has already begun promoting their chosen photographers and my page can be found by following this link.
Thank you for all your support.
Mar 20, 2016
We are deep into tax season and I have a few items to share with you.
I will have a few images in the Dot Photo Club group show titled REFLECTIONS. The exhibition will be at the National Orange Show Art Gallery which is located at 689 S. E Street, San Bernardino, CA 92408. The reception is Friday April 1st from 4 to 9PM.
On the other side of the country, look for me and my work in the Alan Klotz Gallery booth at the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) 2016 Photography Show. The AIPAD photography show will take place at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, NY from April 14th until the 17th.
My limited edition photo book Time Interwoven has been selling well. I encourage you to pick one up at my web store for $20 before they’re all gone. Each book is signed and numbered.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I have added a bunch of new content to my website recently. Take a peek! www.andrewkthompson.net
Thanks again for supporting me.
Jan 23, 2016
It’s a new year and I have been very busy since the last email update in December.
First, I want to invite you all to attend the Classic Photographs Los Angeles fair during the weekend of January 30 and 31st. The Alan Klotz Gallery will be exhibiting a few of my prints and they will have a stack of my new books!
New books? That’s right! I recently published my first book of photographs. They will be available to purchase for $20 from my new web store or from the Alan Klotz Gallery booth at Classic Photographs Los Angeles.
But that’s not the only book project I am a part of. A brief essay of mine will be published in the International Photography Annual 3. This third edition of the INPHA is a 132-page hardcover publication that includes 70 works by 54 artists from 5 countries. Click here to pre-order at a 10% discount.
If that wasn’t enough, I am the special guest in the first episode of “Real Art…Real Talk”, a YouTube program that focuses on thoughtful dialog about contemporary visual art. I can be seen reviewing the Mark Jenkins exhibition at the Fabien Castanier Gallery in Los Angeles by click this link here.
Thank you for supporting me and I hope you all have a great new year.
Aug 17, 2015
I hope you’ve all been keeping cool because August has been slow and the heat’s been miserable.
I’m very excited because I’ve been preparing for a big September. Artwork has been packed; Fed Ex numbers have been recorded, and I’m looking forward to some great opportunities. More news will come next month but until then…
I would like to remind my Bay Area friends that the BOTANICA exhibit is still up at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek. The exhibition will be on view until September 6 and you can click this link for more information about the venue location, hours, and etcetera.
I would like to remind friends in Southern California that stepForward is also still on view at the CB1-G Gallery. We’ve had some distinguished visitors and very positive reviews so far. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 12:30 to 5 PM. I’m at the gallery every Wednesday for the rest of this month so stop by and I’ll give you a personal tour. stepForward will be on display until Saturday, September 5 when there will be a closing reception party. CB1-G Gallery is located at 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave. in Los Angeles.
Feb 10, 2015
It’s the second month of 2015 and time has been flying by!
Since the last update I began teaching Beginning Digital Photography at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and it has been a challenge to grind down and dispense the working knowledge I have taken for granted for the past eighteen years. It is hard to believe that I’ve been working professionally with digital photography for that long. I’m happy to report that I’ve been handling the challenge excellently and the proof is that no one falls asleep during my lectures!
I also began teaching a class titled Art Theory and Practice at the California Institution for Men, Chino (CIM) and the experience has been overwhelming positive! We’ve looked at artists Joan Miró, Robert Rauschenberg, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, David Hammons, Chris Ofilli, and Titus Kaphar while reading and discussing art theory texts by Douglas Chrimp, David Jefferys, John Golding and Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky. Followed by making Exquisite Corpses, Automatic Drawing, Collage, Paper Cut-Outs and Line Drawings. My class of ten men with limited exposure to art and varying degrees of literacy has remained engaged and excited to learn. Our dialogs help connect the artist’s lives and art making techniques to the technology and zeitgeist of the times that the artwork was created. We follow our discussion by creating artwork inspired by the topic of the day and wrap up by sharing what they made. Twice so far, the men have stopped to express their gratitude for the class and the manner in which I teach it. Watching them form meaning out of complex abstract art concepts and put that meaning into practice has been a tremendous reward and confirmation for me. I cannot express enough the blessing it is to work with these men nor how much I appreciate my freedom because of this experience.
I am proud to announce that I will be a part of a group exhibition titled Sampled curated by Anita Bunn at the Offramp Gallery. Sampled is an exhibition of works by 10 artists working in a variety of media including sculpture, drawing, collage, photography and painting. Fashioned from a diversity of materials ranging from deconstructed cloth, bark, rope and thread to yarn, paper and found objects, all integrate sewing, embroidery and/or knitting into their work.
Other artists include: Melanie Ciccone, Raul de la Torre, Clifford Eberly, Susan Feldman Tucker, Nicholette Kominos, Meg Madison, Thinh Nguyen, Echiko Ohira, and Joan Weinzettle. Sampled will be from February 22nd - March 29th, 2015. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Sunday, February 22, 2-5pm. Offramp Gallery is located at 1702 Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103.
There is still time to see the VESSELS group show I am in at The Gallery at The Downtown Center in Pomona. The exhibit will be up until February 28th and is located at 300 W. 2nd Street Pomona, CA 91767. The exhibition, curated by Diego Irigoyen, includes six chemically-altered chromogenic prints from my Penetrating the Veil series. Don’t worry if the venue is closed when you stop by because I was placed in an excellent window area that is visible from the sidewalk.
Mark your calendars now. March 14th is the opening reception for 5x10: A Select Survey of Contemporary Art, curated by Jorge Mujica at the Art Exchange Long Beach. I will be included along with Patrick Ahern, Ching Ching Cheng, Robert Grad, and Nano Rubio.
As an extension to the 5x10: A Select Survey of Contemporary Art exhibition I am curating the 5x10: Sound Festival that will take place April 11th. The line-up and other information will be announced next month. The Art Exchange Long Beach is located at 356 East 3rd Street, Long Beach, CA 90802
I would like to continue to remind you that Punk Rock Pillow Fight is available for Birthdays, Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and Performance Art Festivals. Contact me to book P.R.P.F. for your next event!
Thank you, Andrew
Dec 17, 2014
For the past half year I have been involved in a Community-based Art Program that has been providing art education at the California Institution for Men, Chino. Here are some articles that have come out recently.
Also this past weekend, I am very proud to say that I helped facilitate the first inmate art exhibition in the prison! More information about that project will be forthcoming.
Jun 6, 2014
Jan 20, 2014
Thank you Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami and the vapid collectors of your well branded, hyper-marketed, high-glossed, less than zero surface gravitas, mega trinkets. You articulately represent the shame and glory of capitalism. Project success.
Jan 1, 2014
Robocop 3 is the second sequel to the smash hit Robocop, which was originally directed by Paul Verhoeven in 1987. In this 1993 version of Robocop, Omi Consumer Products (OCP), the creators of Robocop and Guardians of Detroit city, are on the verge of bankrupt and plan to sell off to an Asian investor. The investor has devised a plan to destroy Detroit only to rebuild the first entirely corporate owned township, known as Delta City. Though out the movie, Robocop will turn against OCP, fights along side the resistance and ultimately defeats the corporate invaders. While the movie is poorly acted, directed and conceived there are a number a plot points that seem almost prophetic from the vantage point of 2013. Among them are: a bankrupt Detroit city, the relocation of civilians / natives from property, and the lack of punishment for CEO’s who’ve ruined world economies.
In the background of this story is the instilled “American Jesus” metaphor for Robocop which original director Paul Verhoeven explains:
"The point of 'Robocop,' of course, is it is a Christ story," Verhoeven said. "It is about a guy that gets crucified after 50 minutes, then is resurrected in the next 50 minutes and then is like the super-cop of the world, but is also a Jesus figure as he walks over water at the end […] I put something just underneath the water so [Weller] could walk over the water and say this wonderful line... 'I am not arresting you anymore.' Meaning, 'I'm going to shoot you.' And that is of course the American Jesus" (Rosenberg).
Yet this version of Robocop takes a very Nietzschean twist, because OCP, the creator and thus the Father of Robocop has become corrupted. OCP now brutally removes unarmed civilians from their homes, hires a paramilitary group to inflict its corporate will and intends to sell its corporate assets to investors; including land it does not legally own. For Robocop, whose prime directives are “Serve the public trust”, “Protect the innocent”, and “Uphold the law”, his father has betrayed him; his god has died. The fourth prime directive was, “Never oppose an OCP Officer”. With the help of Dr. Lazarus this commandment is removed and Robocop become a Nietzschean Übermensch, freed from the control of Christian morals, or in this metaphor, OCP command. In his way, Robocop becomes a super Jesus for justice!
Robocop is not the only movie with a Jesus metaphor. In the latest Man of Steel movie, Superman sheds his original Jewish heritage and becomes an American Christ. “The explosion of Planet Krypton from the Superman tale is partly based on the Genesis story, and partly a reflection of what was happening in the lives of Superman’s Jewish creators, [Joe] Siegel and [Jerry] Shuster. “The world their parents had left behind in Eastern Europe was being destroyed. Superman’s escape from Krypton was like the World War II Kindertransports [trainloads of children sent out from Nazi Europe]” (Leon). Yet, in Man of Steel when his father Jor-El sends his son to earth he tells his wife, “He’ll be a god to them”. Another obvious sign, “occurs during a climactic battle: Superman jumps from General Zod’s ship and hovers in the sky with his arms out-stretched like the crucifix” (Craig). Another Jesus movie metaphor was the Disney released science fiction dud, John Cater of Mars. In one scene, “John Carter will enter a tomb, seemingly dead, and it’s only after he rises again, within the next few days, that he can finish his work” (Wickman). I point out these American Jesus metaphors in movies to set the table for the What Would Jesus Do question in Robocop 3.
Unlike Superman’s father who dies and remains in heaven, Robocop’s father (OCP) lives long enough to become corrupted and no longer godly. OCP begins their corruption by devising a plan, with the help of a Japanese mega-corporation, to forcibly remove civilians from their property. It is a striking resemblance to the seventh American President Andrew Jackson’s campaign for, what he called, “Indian removal”. “Working on behalf of white settlers who want to grow cotton on the Indians’ land, the federal government forced them to leave their homelands and walk thousands of miles to specially designated “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River” (History Channel). Jackson had spent years as an Army general leading brutal campaigns against Native Americans throughout Georgia, Alabama and parts of Florida. Despite laws that required the government to negotiate removal treaties fairly, “Jackson and his government frequently ignored the letter of the law and forced Native Americans to vacate lands they had lived on for generations” (History Channel). A few self-appointed Cherokee representatives negotiated a treaty with the federal government but they were betrayers of their people. “The instrument in question in not the act of our nation” wrote the [Cherokee] nation’s principal chief, John Ross, in a letter to the U.S. Senate protesting the treaty. “We are not parties to its covenants; it has not received the sanction of our people” (History Channel). Despite nearly 16,000 Cherokee signatures Congress approved the treaty anyways.
The newly homeless resistance fighters in Robocop 3 are quickly labeled as terrorist only to be hunted and shot down by OCP’s paramilitary group known as Urban Rehabilitators. After witnessing the slaughtering of innocent people, including his former partner, Robocop joins the resistance. That is what a compassionate, law abiding super Jesus would do afterall.
There is a real world example of a former police officer joining the resistance. Former Philadelphia police captain Ray Lewis, became a beacon of symbolic hope when he joined the Occupy Wall Street protests in his full uniform. Before he was arrested he was seen holding a sign that read ‘NYPD don’t be Wall St mercenaries’. Lewis has been quoted “Here they are worrying about dirty parks when people are starving to death, where people are freezing, where people are sleeping in subways and they’re concerned about a dirty park. That’s obnoxious, it’s arrogant, it’s ignorant, it’s disgusting” (Bates). Eventually, in Robocop 3, all the police officers turn against OCP and their quest for urban relocation. The fictional, Sergeant Warren Reed proclaims, “Driving people from their homes is no work for a cop!” before removing his badge and dropping it at the feet of a senior OCP officer. Real life former police captain, Ray Lewis stated during the forceful break up of the Occupy Wall Street protests, “You should, by law, only use force to protect someone’s life or to protect them from being bodily injured” and “the number one thing that they always have in their favor that they seldom use is negotiation - continue to talk, and talk and talk to people” (Bates).
After a civil war like confrontation in the streets of Cadillac Heights, Detroit between the Urban Rehabilitators and the former police officers, Robocop swoops down to save the day. He eliminates the leader of the Urban Rehabilitators and the robotic assassins sent from Japan in one mighty explosion. In the flaming aftermath, a limousine pulls up and out spills the former OCP C.E.O. who does not get arrested, nor acknowledge any fault or blame on OCP’s behalf. At the very worst, he gets fired from the company by the more evil Japanese C.E.O. and then insulted by Robocop, “My friends call me Murphy. You can call me Robocop”. The Japanese C.E.O., and architect of the forceful rehabilitation cum hostile take over of Detroit City, gets off even easier. He walks to within a few feet of Robocop, bows and drives away.
So what does this mean? Despite being the leaders responsible for all the hardship, destruction and warfare, they get to drive away into the idyllic sunset? Doesn’t this sound familiar? There have been many C.E.O.’s that have been fired and given obscene amounts of money to leave after failing, “even after the uproar over Jack Welch’s $417 million farewell kiss from General Electric Co. more than a decade ago” (Green). Jack Welch is just one example, “At the top of the list compiled by Bloomberg are three executives who each would receive almost a quarter of a billion dollars or more if they were sent packing: McKesson Corp. (MCK) CEO John Hammergren, eligible for $303.4 million; CBS Corp. (CBS) chief Les Moonves, with $251.4 million; and Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA)’s David Zaslav with $224.7 million” (Green). With safety nets this gargantuan, it is easy to lose sight of the plight of less fortunate civilians.
What about the main architects of blood shed? Those who plot hostile take overs of foreign lands? Like the Japanese C.E.O. in Robocop 3 most of them just bow out and go away unpunished. In 2008, an International Criminal Court prosecutor wanted to bring charges against Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir for crime against humanity and war crimes.
“I have no sympathy for people who make others suffer. Nevertheless, I wonder at the International Criminal Court's pick from the assortment of war criminals? Why al-Bashir? Is it because Sudan is a powerless state, and the International Criminal Court hasn't the courage to name George W. Bush and Tony Blair as war criminals” (Roberts)?
Do not expect any Western President or Prime Minister to be charged with war crimes despite, “the highest estimate of Darfur casualties is 400,000, one-third the number of Iraqis who have died as a result of Bush's invasion” because Darfur does not have the same economic power that the U.S. and Britain exerts (Roberts). “If you're waiting for ex-President Bush, former Vice President Cheney and the whole host of their accompanying war criminals to be tried for any crime by any foreign nation, forget it. It's not going to happen” (Goodman). This is because the United States has military forces in more than 100 countries and the status of forces agreements “protect even the lowliest American private soldier in virtually all of them from prosecution by a host government if he or she is carrying out an official duty” (Goodman). Basically, if you have the power, the money and the influence you are untouchable. This is especially true if you are acting under direct orders from the federal government.
“President Bush claims that the enormous destruction and death he has brought to Iraq and Afghanistan are necessary in order for Americans to be safe. If we are accepting excuses this feeble, Milosovic passed muster with his excuse that as the head of state he was obliged to try to preserve the state's territorial integrity” (Roberts).
In the case of Andrew Jackson’s crimes against the Native Americans, his punishment came as being the face of a twenty-dollar bill. Which is hardly a punishment at all. If anything Jackson is portrayed as a hero while Native Americans continue to struggle. There is an old saying that ‘time heals all wounds’ and I would like to add, that money covers all crimes. Unfortunately there is no happy endings in real life.
Rosenberg, Adam. Paul Verhoeven Robocop Christ story remake update. MTV Movie Blog. April 14, 2010. Web. July 24, 2013.
Leon, Masha. “Superman at 75” Unmasks the Superhero as a Jew from the Planet Krypton. Forward.com. February 15, 2013. Web. July 24, 2013.
Craig, Justin. 'Man of Steel' filled with Jesus, Christianity references. FoxNews.com. June 14, 2013. Web. July 23, 2013.
Wickman, Forrest. How Christian is John Cater? Slate.com. March 8, 2012. Web. July 23, 2013.
History Channel. Trail of Tears. History.com. Web. July 23, 2013
Bates, Daniel. Retired police chief arrested in full uniform at Occupy Wall Street demo after branding fellow officers 'obnoxious, arrogant and ignorant'. Daily Mail UK. November 18, 2011. Web. July 23, 2013.
Green, Jeff. Golden Parachutes of $100 Million for Fired CEOs Outlive Outrage. Bloomberg. June 6, 2013. Web. July 23, 2013.
Roberts, Paul Craig. Only Little War Criminals Get Punished. Antiwar.com. July 17, 2008. Web. July 23, 2013.
Goodman, Sandy. Why No Foreign Judge Will Punish Bush War Criminals. Huffington Post. April 17, 2009. Web. July 23, 2013.
Dec 31, 2013
Man nipples can be used in images of advertisements and propaganda as a safe way of suggesting seduction or sex unlike female nipples, which are considered “pornographic” because they have the capacity to provide and sustain life.
The exposure of male nipples indoors and in public is a sign that some form of impending confrontation is about to happen. This is one truth I learned while working as a bouncer in nightclubs, when a man takes off his shirt indoors, a fight about to happen.
A body in its natural state, whether it be a man, a woman or anybody with a body is not pornographic or evil, but these are two forms to be wary of.