Friday, September 16, 2016

The Townhouse Asks P. Seth Thompson: What is Art?


You Have Arrived (Wes’s Last Dream), 2015.  20 x 24 in.  Archival pigment print mounted to Dibond.  Edition of 5. 
Signed by artist on label, verso

"Art is a manifestation of the human condition.  I normally don’t like art that focuses on social or political issues; even though some people say my work is political. I think art needs to be more than an artificial construct that our society has deemed important.  That said, I respect artists who go down that path but it seems derivative and it really doesn’t change anything in the end.  Art, for me, needs to question the very nature of who we all are in the greater universe.  I hesitate when writing this because I feel the reader will think I am a crystal carrying, whole foods shopping new age guru. Maybe I am? I don’t know.  

But that’s the best part for me. We will never know anything so we create to find out something, but we will never get a definitive answer.  People always want an answer and they expect the artist to give it to them, but that’s not my job.  My job is to present them with a question and they can go find the answer.  I think that is why people usually are magnetized to socially aware art because it’s easily digestible.  When you present work that makes the audience consider that they are nothing but a construct that has been manufactured, altered, and manipulated to consume then they back away slowly and retreat into art that makes them know something they already know.
So, in the end art needs to kick people in the ass and make them realize that our world is nothing more than an illusion.  The only truth is our perception of it."

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P. Seth Thompson is a digital/multi-media artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. From 2011-2013, He worked as curatorial assistant in the department of modern and contemporary art at the High Museum of Art and is represented by Sandler Hudson Gallery.  Currently, Thompson is working on a new body of work titled Insufficient Data for an Image, which will debut next March at Sandler Hudson Gallery, and is curating a group exhibition for the Zuckerman Museum of Art titled Racecar, which will be on view summer 2017.  His work can be viewed online at Sandler Hudson's website and at his own website, here

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Evan Jones is a painter, drummer, and avid music lover.