California-based artist Thomas Campbell
has brought a bit of the breezy aura of the West Coast to New York with
his first solo exhibition at Joshua Liner
” features the artist’s
whimsical paintings, sculptures, bronzes, hand-sewn works inspired by his
travels around the world, and...gourds.
“I feel there is a natural correlation between
what I do and what I draw...[my drawings have] similar lines to the structure
of gourds,” Campbell has said
. “I think a lot of my work celebrates life and
the strange existence of this funny plant on this strange and surreal planet.
Gourds embody that weird mystery, naturally.” The plant, which includes
numerous species and subspecies, not only sparks his creations, but also stars
in them. In Yep
(2014), small painted gourds cling to the bottom of the
panels like barnacles on rocks. Similarly, in Fauna no. 3
painted gourd triumphantly rises from a bronze stand, and in Snake
(2014), sculpted bronze twists in a familiar gourd-like shape.
Along with his paintings and sculptures,
Campbell is known for his sewn works—brightly colored, quilts constructed from
combinations of paper, acrylic, packaging envelopes, thread, and rice bags.
With these items, Campbell creates a bursting patchwork pinwheel, in Large
Flower 1 (2013), and a colorful triangular display in Larger Quilt no. 4
In addition to being an artist, Campbell is a
filmmaker, skateboarder, surfer, and photographer. He emerged in the 1990s with
the Beautiful Losers—a collective including artists such as Shepard Fairey
, Harmony Korine
, and Barry McGee
, which was inspired by D.I.Y. themes in street art culture,
skateboarding, and underground music. His diverse oeuvre, gourds et al, traces
back to these roots, and the collective’s playful spirit of creativity and