Bewildered Herd by Thomas Putzier features large scale paintings and sculptures. The exhibit will be on view March 6 – April 9th. A google meets gallery talk is being held 3/10/21 at 5 pm MEETING LINK
Describe your work in 15 word or less
What/Who influences your work and why?
John Hejduk, Aldo Rossi, postmodernism, minimalism, fascist-architecture, capitalism, consumerism, transgressing: Power hierarchy / labor exploitation / disciplinary borders, creating/ investigating: new ecosystems, world-building w/o currency, surveillance-urbanism, big data, social expectation, familial tradition, industrial-architecture, iconography of money/ power, how character & personality can determine geometry, & introspection-generating installation.
Why: I utilize symbolism that is both personal and communal to question the purpose of coercive power structures and the systems that reinforce their existence. I find myself intrigued by “weird” form, which does not concede to expectation, but is driven by historical reference if only to complicate it more. I find narrative behind the way a sculpture can shift in size and shape. I embed multiple personalities into singular works to give them a multiplicity of voices/ expressions/ attitudes. I use historical architectural iconography and transform it, collage and collide it, to create new meaning, new spaces for possibility. I use images of power, to reclaim this agency for myself and for my audience. (image left and above, Safety Station 2018)
Tell us a little bit about your evolution as an artist or in other words, your Artist Origin Story
I was interested in construction sites, mining, and mining buildings at a young age, my father did work with mining companies. I was always drawing. As a queer youth I was constantly bumping up against expectations to conform. As I aged the societal expectations all people experience always stood out to me in a visceral way.
In high school I went into drafting and architecture classes as early as I could. I then became fascinated with photography and completed all available photography classes at the high school, and then went onto art independent studies. I went to architecture school at the University of Illinois at Chicago and after a year I felt incomplete. I began double majoring in fine arts, focused in photography… which would shift to sculpture to moving-image to fashion to architecture and then combining them all.
I always felt this need to create new worlds to analyze individual moments in our own shared reality. In undergrad my work began in conceptual and speculative architectures and evolved into unearthing my own personal past and its then present day effects on my life. I entered grad school at Sierra Nevada University with this goal of undoing, brick by brick, the walls I had built that I felt were standing in my own way. I had a desire to reassert my preconceived values, undo them, and rebuild them. I allowed myself to get vulnerable and experimental which led to new understandings of myself and my practice.
What do you like to do for fun outside of the studio?
I’ve recently become unimaginably obsessed with stocks. I am ADD and could stare at them all day. My most recent completed project is a feature-length video work titled Ruined Country. The work imagines a world without currency. While making this work I was very interested in the “invisible hand” of the market and also “invisible labor.” Obsessing over stocks now feels like a necessary relevant part of my interdisciplinary practice. Fun? Leave my living room? Skiing.
(Images left: Untitled stills from HD Video: Ruined Country, 94 min. 2020)
Favorite Song, Drink, and Pattern
I am terrible with favorites because I struggle with hierarchy lol!
The Glamorous Life – by Sheila E (9 minute version at half speed: 18 minutes of amazing).
Water, Coffee, Tea, Sidecar, Tequila.
I’ve loved florals, large print ones; also patterns that morph and are non-continuous excite me
(Image above: Thomas Putzier signing autographs as a performance at Sagehen Creek Field Station in Truckee, CA 2018)
(Image below: Interior photo of Our Crazy Baby, Sugar Shack)