Thomas Blair

Artist Statement 

The work you see revolves around the indescribable beauty that exists in both violence and peace. Working with an aggressive, forthright gaze, I endow an energy that seems to hurt/discombobulate the viewer. The viewer can respond in one of three ways: to meet my piece with submission, with aggression, or with truce, drawing them into the circularity of violence that the work embodies, regardless of their response.

Using the military as a major motif, my work also begins to embody other societal hierarchies and structures that have formed to promote and preserve survival (family, law, religion, etc). The military is also used to represent the massive intra-specific selection (the process of a species refining itself through survival of the fittest, rather than a species competing with another) currently occurring throughout the world: war (the most violent concept known to mankind).

Enveloping the viewer with this very evolutionary process, the respective vibrations violence and peace elicit are felt and digested, creating a natural feeling of “right”/“soothing” or “wrong”/“painful” within the viewer. Without this sense of forced morality, it surfaces masochistic, megalomaniacal, and paranoid tendencies that exist in every person yet are repressed by the individual’s raised code of ethics.

It is precisely within this epiphanic, pure act of “surfacing” that my work’s beauty exists.