Jody Travis Thompson

Jody Travis Thompson was born in Sulphur, Louisiana in 1972 and began his formal artistic education in 1982 in Sulphur through private classes with Jane Ludwig-Johnson.

Thompson graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1996 with a BA in Painting and Drawing and earned his MFA at the University of Arkansas in 2019.

Thompson’s research has shifted focus to look more specifically at the influence that perceived masculinity, historical perspective, and alternate realities have on the communication of identity. His paintings continue to utilize the extremes of trompe l’oeil realism and material driven abstraction, as well as all the space in between. His works are also held in private collections around the United States, including New York, California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

About the Work

I explore diverse approaches to the representation of visual space. Depictions of space and movement change throughout the paintings by combining various artistic conventions, such as trompe l’oeil realism and non-objective, geometric abstraction. Oil paint, resin, beeswax, makeup and other materials create built-up surfaces, which retain the history of their making.

Interaction between various finishes and light on these surfaces changes based on the viewers’ proximity to the painting. Images of monkey bars, lattice, childhood memories, golden ratio and flower of life patterns provide a structure through which line, form, and space are represented.

Just as memories of childhood change as we get older, the disruption of logic created within these structures serves to provide multiple ways of viewing the paintings. These compositions also provide opportunities to visualize the mutability of perception and logic. Through relating my experience with third-person memory, reoccurring childhood dreams, construction of personal spirituality and reconciling my identity as gay, white, and male, proximity in space and time is shown to shift and queer perception. In this body of work, I am addressing physical disruption on the surface of the canvas, as well as disruption of perception systems. These depictions of destabilized perception systems stand as a metaphor the fallibility/malleability of human memory.

Voted Best Art Gallery 2019 in "Best of Northwest Arkansas”

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