This week’s Studio Sunday feature is Torey Thornton. Thornton is an artist based in Brooklyn who works in a variety of media including paint, industrial materials, and sometimes found objects, blending layers of philosophy and political thinking with relatively simple, often striking and sometimes darkly humorous visual manifestations.
Thornton’s studio space looks spacious and brightly lit here. It reminds me of the New York studio of Alex Katz -- white walls, bright lighting, and finished paintings that look as though they are already on display. The artist looks pensive, perched on a sofa here in what looks like the centre of the space. I wonder if they’re staring at a painting, trying to determine what the next step will be, or if they’re simply gazing out a window looking for inspiration.
I like that the couch gives off an air of a certain kind of luxury -- like the couch in [Claude Monet’s] vast studio -- and yet here it is covered in plastic film, implying that Thornton’s artistic process occasionally gets messy and wild. The view behind the artist hints at further rooms and different artistic processes and elements therein -- perhaps this room is simply the front display room of a more involved and messy studio.
Thornton incorporates broad ideas of gender, class, and identity into their works, using a variety of media to convey subtle, unconscious ideas. Though the artist’s pieces are large and attention-getting, their visual language is one that is not overly concerned with aesthetics or perfection -- rather, the medium and its context become the most important aspect of a work.