About the Artist
Thomas Brodhead, born 1968 in St. Louis, Missouri, studied classical music composition, theory, and history during his college years in Oberlin, Ohio, all the while (on paper, at least) pursuing a B.A. in standard political history and philosophy. He then worked for over twenty years in classical music publishing as a music engraver, setting orchestral sheet music for print publication using original computer programs of his own creation. Concurrently, he worked as a musicologist of the American composer Charles Ives, and he produced a new and definitive performing edition of Ives’s massive Fourth Symphony (a works so rhythmically complex that it requires 2 or 3 conductors working in tandem) that was premiered at the Lucerne Festival in 2012.
His work on visual art began as a pastime in 2009, first as a humorous commentary on modern art and some of its theory-before-practice conventions (the correlatives of which he had confronted in the classical music world since his student days). Over time, his visual artwork transformed into a serious commentary on transhumanism and his own perception of the digital infantilization of humankind in the 21st century.
Balancing the constraints of established rules against the need for free-form editing is the bedrock of music engraving, an unsung craft: it requires concentration, attention to detail, and sensitivity to the harmonious arrangement of visual patterns. Brodhead’s diligence in that industry was a prelude to the things at the fore of his visual artwork, in which the pixelations of RGB computer displays are mirrored in an otherwise childlike pantomime of paint-by-numbers serialism.