Academy of Art University
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Double Self-Portrait with Still Life
Medium: acrylic and mixed media on canvas panel
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John Toothman

John Toothman

Fine Art / MFA

The title of my thesis is "The Shortest Distance Between Two Thoughts", and it refers to how mental processes manifest in relation to the material world of people and things. Experiences or perceptions of external stimuli may occur almost constantly, but they do not always happen conveniently, orderly, and in isolation from one another. Rather, they can overlap haphazardly, converge disparately, and relate to one another in desultory jumble. To depict this concept, I use the juxtaposition of real physical materials as mixed media collage with realistically painted figures in their environments. While I make every attempt to compose my reference images, the strongest results are often from source photos that appear to capture unexpected moments in time. Thus, the thesis artwork can be understood as a portfolio of candid snap-shots from the artist’s mind trying to bring cohesion to the unpredictable combinations of external sensory stimuli and internal cognitive processes.

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