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Thompson, Khalif, (When The Birds Fly Overhead)



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"When The Birds Fly Overhead" by Khalif Thompson

68 x 49 inches. oil, pastel, handmade paper (Kozo, Abaca, Cotton), papyrus, magazine, newsprint on canvas (2021) -- unframed

Working primarily through portraiture and figuration, I build open and atmospheric compositions rendered from found or handmade materials, creating environments that host concepts that interest me concerning self-identity, race, spirituality, psychology and indefinable things that make each person an individual. In response to the ambition and power of the art historical and contemporary figurative work, I impart sensitive and emotionally rich works that add to my own experiences. I bring to my figurations a probing element of paper-making and collage. I tend to work large-scale and enjoy layering the surface, informing the structure and emanating a stream of consciousness of sorts. I describe an inner dialogue towards my subjectivity, using text and journal entries, as well as metaphorical imagery. The paintings are active in exploring different modes of working that offer a hands-on approach to molding the material. The impermanence of life and its creations are an engrossing enigma within my paintings and therefore I attempt to augment presence. Through the representation of my immediate surroundings, relationships, memories, thoughts, and sentiments I provide them with importance and influence. In all, my work is a pure and consummate search for who I am and an eloquent practice of telling my story.

Khalif Tahir Thompson is best recognized in his powerful work concentrated in portraiture and figuration. Incorporating painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, and paper-making into his practice, he explores notions of self through race, sexuality, and spirituality. Recently he graduated from Purchase College with his Bachelor's in Fine arts degree and completed a fellowship at the EFA Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in NYC. As well as residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Trestle Art Space. He was recently awarded a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council and is currently represented by the gallery of BLACK ART IN AMERICA (BAIA).

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