Joining us for his second RUN, Louisiana artist Thomas Wimberly returns with his latest editions, Out Of Publication. These new letter press editions are available in two different colorways, with imagery recently pulled from Wimberly’s recent piece featured in a group show paying homage to photographer Jim Marshall at Shepard Fairey’s Subliminal Projects Gallery in Los Angeles. Read on to take a look behind Thomas Wimberly’s latest letter press editions, see details for upcoming debut solo exhibition and more. . .
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about these two pieces, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this imagery?
Thomas Wimberly: These two pieces are based on an original acrylic painting that was selected to be in a show a year ago at Shepard Fairey’s gallery, Subliminal Projects, after an online open submission.
1x: Was this imagery part of a recent theme, series or show that you had? If so how did it fit into that given grouping?
Wimberly: The gallery show at Subliminal Projects showcased some of the late photographer Jim Marshall’s unseen work that documented “the progression of the use of the peace symbol in America between 1961-1969” and submissions needed to be inspired by the peace symbol in order to be considered.
1x: What materials were used to create these original pieces?
Wimberly: The two original pieces use collaged newspaper clippings from the 70s as well as my own screen printed patterns to create a very textured surface on top of rag paper. On top of the collaged paper, a variety of stencils were overlaid to create a subtly patterned surface. The main image was created using an aerosol stencil that I cut by hand.
1x: When were it originally drawn/created? If it was part of a larger continue series when was that begun?
Wimberly: The image on which these pieces are based was drawn a year ago. After getting the chance to go to LA for the first time because of it, I came back incredibly inspired. This inspiration helped to forge the initial idea for my solo show, “Don’t Believe the Hype” which takes place early next month, of which these pieces fit in very appropriately.
1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about for this image?
Wimberly: Because of the open submission’s parameters, I knew that obviously this piece would have some sort of abstraction of a peace symbol. The Las Vegas shooting had just occurred, and that was still very much still on my mind, and that timing helped me decide to use a gun of some sort in the symbol. I feel that there are certain ideas in our country that although they are “traditional” in nature, could use some reassessment and refinement which helped me to decide that the outline of the piece symbol would work well as a chain that was breaking.
1x: How long did this image take to create from start to finish?
Wimberly: The image took about 5-6 hours from my initial idea to the actual refinement of it. The two originals included in this drop took around 15 hours to complete.
1x: What is unique about this piece compared with your other work?
Wimberly: I’d say this piece is unique in the sense that it really was the starting point for my current body of work. Before the “Peace” show, my work was very exploratory in nature and style, and to be honest- a bit everywhere. This image helped me realize that I wanted my work to have purpose outside of just aesthetic value. I’m not always the best at articulating my words but I’m finding my voice in my work, and I think that’s in part thanks to the impact and experiences this specific image has brought into my life.
1x: Why should people buy this one of these prints?
Wimberly: Aside from being beautifully printed, I think this image is a peek into one of our country’s most controversial conversations, and I think that it’s topical value is worth acquiring.
1x: Describe this image in one gut reaction word.
1x: Bring us up to speed on what you’ve been up to since our first release?
Wimberly: In all honesty, this has been the absolute busiest year of my life, especially since the last drop with 1xRUN. Since then, I’ve organized a group show with some really great local artists, begun screen printing for my own drops, and started planning my solo show. My show has been taking up literally all of my time outside of my day job as a designer, and I’m incredibly excited to be putting together my first solo exhibition.
1x: What are some of the ways you’ve been trying to grow lately with your newest pieces?
Wimberly: Because all of my latest work is for the same show, I’ve been working very hard to make sure they work as a unit instead of just individual pieces. Refining my theme and making sure the pieces fit that message has been both challenging and a learning experience for me, one that I know is helping me to be a stronger artist.
1x: Any new artists that have been inspiring you as of late?
Wimberly: While not necessarily new artists to me, or even new inspirations, I’ve been studying the work and mentality of Ernesto Yerena a lot lately. Along with talking with him and getting advice, his work and the intent behind it has really been helping me find my own. I’ve also recently been inspired by Francisco Reyes Jr. of “Never Made”, Tristan Eaton, my close friend Chase Mullen, and obviously Shepard Fairey who’s work I’ve been meticulously studying. I know that through studying these inspirations and working more and more, my own style will make itself more apparent. For the moment I’m really enjoying watching all of their processes and replicating what I can.
1x: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Wimberly: The last piece of art I bought was the print “Little Man Big Man” from Cleon Peterson’s “Blood and Soil” show.
1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Wimberly: Just the aforementioned, “Don’t Believe the Hype” exhibition. My first solo show, it takes place on November 2 in my hometown of Baton Rouge. I’m using this opportunity to give insight into my perception of the past year’s unfolding and the humanity (or lack thereof) associated with it. In a world of hyper connectivity, I find it’s becoming easier and easier for people to dissociate politics with the individuals it directly affects, especially when it’s not them, and I’ve spent the better part of 2018 searching for my own stance on things. It’s far too easy in this age of the smartphone to get swallowed up in the hype of what our friends and family believe, without taking the time to truly decide for ourselves. I’m excited to show my take on things.