Twilight Zone 2020- New Works by Thomas Crouch
May 8 @ 6:00 pm - May 29 @ 9:00 pm
Tapps Outpost is excited to announce Thomas Crouch’s exhibition, Twilight Zone 2020, will open at 715 Saluda Avenue on May 8th, 2021 at 6pm.
When asked to describe the inspiration of the collection of works, Crouch explains,
“I think about the old guy who worked at the library only because he loved books. The problem he had was that he was old, extremely farsighted and was not really a people person . It was evident that all he wanted to do was read books. So much that he would lock himself in the vault and read. People just annoyed him and subsequently he annoyed people. One day while he was reading in the vault the nuclear war happened. He walked outside and everything was decimated. No buildings. No people. All that remained were the classic books to read from the vault.
He was ecstatic.
All the books!
No people to interrupt!
At once, he began shuffling through the books. He turned to reach for a title that he had yet to read, then another, and another, and another. Then, in his extreme farsighted excitement, he jolted for one more. It was at this time that the most devastating thing that could ever happen to him, suddenly did. The oily, thick-lensed glasses slid slowly from their resting place behind his hairy ears, off of the dehydrated bridge of his nose, and fell straight to the ground shattering into half a million pieces.”
These pieces are about my experience during the initial Covid quarantine in March 2020. As a visual artist, I like to portray current events along with animals trapped in human architecture. Having the time to work on art and express my views regarding current events is invaluable. I was laid off from work, which is the one thing that keeps me from producing and practicing art at the rate I would like.
I always seem to work from a point of questioning as the source of the imagery I choose. The paintings I created are politically charged, but they are also beautiful. They are emotionally reactive to the spiraling dissonance that seemed to pervade the view from my studio. As long as these pieces stayed in my studio, with no plan to show, I began to disregard them, while they began to see me.
I became locked into myself. A self portrait of privacy. An ability to stray in secluded security. All of these with the acute wariness of social media. The only outlet for discourse was inundated with oppositions, accusations, politically charged memes and food pics. I began to wander away from the work. I wondered if the debated terms of the day described me: leftist or centrist, antifa or anti-American. Or both. Was I legit or part of the problem? Or both? Honesty has always been a tenet of any art I make, but this was getting ridiculous. I started to feel like a ghost spiraling in an echoing vacuum.
It still seems like a ghost town a year later. For the past year we’ve been floating around not having to deal with anything but death, malaise, judgement, suffering and work. All on our own self-diagnosed terms. What could have become a nurturing moment has dried up on the sidewalk like somebody’s discarded bubble gum. Now we all walk over it everyday without noticing.
The questions are here on display. You don’t have to answer them but I do hope you enjoy them. I enjoyed considering them.
Love and respect
Thomas Crouch is a visual artist in Columbia SC. After studying
at The Lorenzo De Medici School of Art 1990-92 in Florence, Italy he graduated from the University of South Carolina Bachelor of Arts in 1997.
He was accepted in to the inaugural Sedona Summer Colony Artist Residency 2016 in Sedona, Arizona as well as the Con Artist Collective Winter Residency 2017 in Manhattan NY. He has work in private collections nationally and internationally.
Visual art is among the earliest and most potent forms of human communication and transferral of ideas. It exceeds the boundaries of language and sound, academia and intellect and relies solely upon itself and the viewer for its success or failure.
My work is from a perspective of living, working and creating art in rural and metropolitan environments. My working studios have taken me from Europe, Hudson Valley, NYC, and the Southwest and Deep South United States. In all, I find the common bond of our reliance on the natural world.