Have you read many of these artist bios or statements? They’re pretty pretentious. Full of platitudes and obtuse descriptions of the artist and their work. Is that really what you want to know about me? I could write this so that it sounds like one of those because I’m a very talented writer on top of being an amazing visual artist but then I’d just be full of shit. Being full of shit is one of my biggest fears. There’s nothing more important to me as a person or as an artist than being genuine so it’s just not really on brand for this to be typical.
I’m Niq Thomas. I live in Cedar Rapids. For several years my artistic expression came in the form of abstract painting. If you know anything about the history of abstract painting or abstract artists, chances are those are my influences. At the start of the year, after being kind of bored with painting, I decided I would explore collage and work that into my paintings. The collages quickly became more complex and started to evolve into assemblage pieces.
This change in style and approach to my art reinvigorated me as an artist. In fact, it made me feel like an artist for the first time and not just someone who was making paintings. Then the pandemic and the lockdown became our new normal. I lost my job and instead of doing art in my spare time, I did art in all of my time. That led to me reexamining old pieces, discarding them, and repurposing them for new works.
The pieces here represent that transition from collage to assemblage. They include found objects and fragments of souvenirs. As a child I would tack magazine clippings, album covers, ticket stubs, baseball cards, comic books, and other scraps of pop culture to a bulletin board in my room. This is a practice that continued as an adult and can be seen in this series. Imbedded in these works are glimpses into the nostalgia I’ve been lugging around for decades..
Everyone thinks they’re important. We’re told that we all have a right to our own opinions. That we are free to believe in anything we want. These are truly unprecedented times but we aren’t special. Well, you aren’t. I might be.
CSPS Main Gallery