If You Hit Anything Call It The Target!

An exhibition of new artworks by Bristol based artist Rich Thorne.
Preview: 6-9pm on Thursday 1st August. 14 Fairfax Street, Bristol. BS1 3DB

SAFEHOUSE proudly presents ‘IF YOU HIT ANYTHING CALL IT THE TARGET!’ an exhibition of new work by Rich Thorne.

Over the past decade, Thorne has been focussing on illustration and outdoor painting. Along side curating and participating in numerous group exhibitions Rich has been working as a creative and commercial illustrator for animation giants ‘Aardman’, the BBC, Golden Wolf and others.

In his new body of work, we see how this time spent exploring illustration through large scale murals, translates to canvas. This is the most direct translation from wall to canvas of his work, so far.

Most notably, with the introduction of a new process — an initial, digital drawing stage to perfect composition, prior to painting. A combination of solid fills with both paint brush and airbrush to mimic the effects from a spray can fill. A bold transition from wall to canvas, brings together the artist’s free-flowing abstract drawing, a combination of graffiti elements and forms, mixed with a love of comic book line work and shading.

This exhibition also brings together Thorne’s personal influences from the king of comics: Jack Kirby to arguably the king of comic book characters — ’Spider-Man’. The fictional human mutant is a regular in Thorne’s work, though often appearing defeated and down trodden, rarely the strong, dynamic superhero we all know.

Here, we see ’Spider-man’ portrayed primarily as a design element rather than a heroic figure — an aesthetic choice that serves as a combination of line weights contained perfectly within the human form.

We see other anonymous characters and unknown forms take shape throughout the canvas, buried and bound up in debris made of abstract forms, flowers and rocks. The artist abstracts central images by breaking their outline to build new structures and shapes flowing through and around them, emboldening them with a highly-saturated and vivid colour palette.

Illustrative drawing will always be the primary focus of Rich Thorne’s artistic career, manifested in the exploration of line-work and the pursuit of the perfectly balanced image. Rich believes the Comic book artists of the late 60’s and early 70’s achieved this perfectly and remains in search of that in this new portfolio of work and with them being a firm visual influence.

Exhibition Details:
Show runs: 02.08.19 - 04.08.19. Opening Times: 10am - 5pm
Location: 14 Fairfax Street, Bristol.
Preview opening hours: 01st August, 6pm - 9pm


Rich Thorne began his career in 2002 and has been evolving his illustrative style through drawing painting and graffiti in Bristol and beyond.

Thorne’s recent commercial mural work has taken him to Moscow as the lead artist for the Vans Shop Riot contest which ran across Europe for a year. Where he painted Gorky Park Skate park for the contest

Most recently Rich was invited to Washington DC as part of POWWOWDC, and Memphis,Tennessee as an artist in residence for the ‘Moon Pie’ project with Crosstown arts.

His work has featured in magazines and publications across the globe for graffiti and street art including the highly influential "Street Sketchbook" by Tristan Manco (Thames and Hudson, 2007)

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