GERRY THIES is a Hell's Kitchen NYC artist. His artworks reside in the corporate collections of AT&T, Alcatel-Lucent and General Motors - as well as in many private collections. Gerry received an MFA in photography and has had his artwork published and exhibited in the United States, Japan and Germany.
The underlying theme to my artwork has always been journey. With journey, the fascination of road and movement and time constantly tweaks my curiosity and pushes my artwork. Photography has always been at the core of my artwork. I love challenging the idea of what photography is and how it can be perceived. I also never think of creating just one piece, but consciously think of the next variation and continuation of the series.
In this journey around the streets and sidewalks of New York City, I’ve encountered small worlds that would normally be overlooked. Along the way, I photographed the beauty of random things ranging from a paint spatter next to a crack in a sidewalk, to the layering of graffiti on a bridge trestle, to diverse construction markings sprayed and carved into the cement. With MICROCOSM, I've been able to challenge the idea of what graphic beauty is and also challenge the viewer's perception through the presentation of the photographs. With this series I’ve captured this world one frame at a time - but have presented them in a grid format where the multiplicity and juxtapositions power the group. This has given these small worlds new meaning and importance, making them not so small anymore.
GRID is an extension of MICROCOSM. It includes the natural environment as well as thematic groupings of like objects. I've just touched the surface of what nature can contribute to the mix. WINTER TREES looks up while lying on my back in the snow with my daughter after having a snowball fight. LICHEN on the other hand looks straight down at the small worlds that small organisms create on rocks in Pennsylvania. Conversely, when I walk the streets of Manhattan I'll see common elements. LOST makes a record of dropped gloves that were inadvertently dropped over the course of a couple years. FLATTENED captures what was crushed under the tires of buses and cars and trucks.
Early examinations of time included long exposures that made color shifts and altered reality. Later, explorations of multiplicity included pieced panoramas of hand printed photographs. These ideas evolved into artwork that then utilized a multi-medium approach. In JOURNEY, each piece began as a black and white photograph. The photographic surface was then attacked with a combination of oil and pencil and knives and sandpaper -literally scraping away the resin coating on the paper. The process began to skew the reality and relationship of each medium and ended up creating pieces that were both kinetic yet static. In each one of these time travel journeys, the figures stand watch like sentries, destined to oversee their environment century after century.
Rochester, New York - the 1980’s - rediscovered. I had been thinking about my old negatives. When I went through them, NEIGHBORHOOD started to emerge as an interesting series showcasing city streets, cars and houses with a solitude and retro vibe. These photographs were taken at night with long exposures of thirty seconds to two minutes which purposely skewing some of the color reality.
I then began to think of these urban and rural images in a completely different context and design. Out of this , ANIMATE INANIMATE was born. ANIMATE looks at the living, breathing, moving, organic. INANIMATE counters with the static, inactive, still, inorganic. And of course sometimes it is inevitable that they cross paths.
With the tremendous advancement of digital printing technology, I am very happy that I can now combine my fine art photographic images into tactile and wearable items. This is the beginning of my journey with textiles. I am pleased to link you to you my silk scarf collection:
All artwork & photographs © GERRY THIES