Adam Thorman

Adam Thorman is an artist, photographer, and educator. He lives and works in Oakland, CA and he teaches photography at The Athenian School in Danville, CA. Adam has a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and an MFA from Arizona State University. Adam has shown nationally including at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ, at Sam Lee Gallery in Los Angeles, and with Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, IN. He has work in the permanent collection of SFMOMA.

Landscapes for the End of the World

The landscape in today’s world has come to represent a respite from the stresses of everyday life. You go outside to get away from the modern world. Yet, there are some things that are too much to deal with, things that a walk in nature can’t fix. In the San Francisco Bay Area in April 2017, it’s hard not to be thinking about the end of the world. The Pacific Coast has always represented the end of the world in a certain way. It’s the geographical end of Manifest Destiny. It’s the last frontier. There are currently many other ways the world seems to be ending, as well, with the plasticization of the oceans, the rising sea level, the specter of North Korean bombs, and Highway 1 eroding away, and that is to say nothing of the current political situation. The landscape is disappearing. Rather, the landscape as we know it is disappearing. I’ve been making work about this reality of the landscape. These photographs are about being overwhelmed.

Landscapes for the End of the World is made up of three distinct sections:

I: 1000 Suns (Images 1-11)
1000 Suns is a poetic look at the coast. It breaks the landscape down to rocks, water, flora, and light.

II: In Search of Oblivion (Images 12-16)
In Search of Oblivion is made up of Erasures and Eruptions. These are unique images that are physically erased, with scraped-off image, and tactilely covered in thick paint. The erasures and eruptions mimic the volcanic origins of the rocks, and their chipping away from mountains to end up sitting on the beach. At the same time, they represent the need for a break in the world. A bit of oblivion, physically taking away detail to find rest in the blankness.

III: Voids (images 17-20)
In the face of the incomprehensible, sometimes you just need to stare into nothingness. This series is made up of circles of light and dark. When everything means nothing, you start over at the beginning. Out of a void, there came light.

To view more of Adam’s work please visit his website.



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