Thomas Brodhead – American, born 1968 – Audition –2012 – acrylic on canvas – 24" x 36" x 0.75" (60.96cm x 91.44cm x 1.91cm)
Ah . . . the agony, ecstasy, and bath salts of an audition. No beta-blockers here, just a fervent wish that the birds flying above aren’t actually aircraft bombers waiting to drop their loads. But that’s moot; a bomb under the judges’ table and a sand-filled hour glass ensure a quick ending to this exercise in vainglory. Are the judges starstruck, or are the hollows in their eyes an assessment of artistic ineptitude? In either case, an empathetic cat channels the insecurity of the hopeful talent, or perhaps simply reacts in mute horror to the nearby snake.
The artist here ponders the further devolution of mankind into cartoon characters, and presages a dystopic future in which humans return to a ridiculous natural state. With a style bridging the gap between photorealism and splatter, this painting poses the timely question, “Whither Fauvism?”