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Digitally Nostalgic art by Hollis Brown Thornton

An image-transfer piece of a young boy standing in front of a nintendo arcade gameNintendo Fun Club, pigment transfer on paper

The contemporary world and its focus on digital interaction is one of the primary focuses of Hollis Brown Thornton’s artworks. Born in Aiken, South Carolina, received his BFA from the University of South Carolina, before working for a number of years as a gallery director and preparatory. He now works as a full-time professional artist and is still located in Aiken.


A painting of a pixellated VHS tapeVHS, acrylic on canvas

Thornton uses often familiar imagery from pop-culture and from an era in history when 8-bit video games and VHS tapes were in popular use. Now slightly dated, the imagery in Thornton’s work gains an added layer of loving nostalgia for a large portion of his viewers.


While Thornton’s appropriation of video-game imagery is interesting, I am a particular fan of the works where he takes the imagery further, using pigment transfers on canvas to create fragmented scenes of a particular era, sometimes combining gaudy wallpaper with images of VHS tapes and old television sets or gaming consoles, as well as paintings of rooms, walls covered in dated posters.


A drawing of a floppy disk on a background of floral wallpaper3 1/2 Inch Floppy Disk, permanent marker on paper

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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