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Storm Tharp’s Watery Portraits @ PDX

Thursday, June 10, 2010 · 2 Comments

Storm Tharp (whose work I saw on art splash) has a show this month, Hercules, at Portland’s PDX and is also in the 2010 Whitney Biennial. In many ways Tharp’s work reminds me of that of Berlin artist/illustrator, Manfred Naescher. Both artists create watery, enigmatic portraits that reference iconic films of the 1970’s.


This particular choice of material (gouaches, inks and water) results in a finished product that is never fully designed by the artist. Herein lies the beauty of this work: the tension between the artist’s hand in the work and the unrestrained marks left by the water. It adds a wonderful element of ambiguity that leaves the viewer wondering which elements were central in the artist’s vision.



Tags: Art · People

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael Brown // Jun 12, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Nice tension between the controlled and the random…they make me think of clowns…and how the act of painting a smile (controlled) can mask the true personality of the performer (random).

  • 2 Lorna Simpson’s Lovely Ladies // Aug 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    […] think loose watercolor (or in this case ink and water) portraits are really freakin’ cool. Storm Tharp and Manfred Naescher are two other great examples. The medium provides so much room for emotion and […]

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