Landlocked Salmon and Rainbow Smelt, 2019


Andrew Thompson

APT TOTEMS: Relics and Reverence in the Art of Andrew Thompson

Andrew Thompson has always straddled worlds, been caught between town and country, the anachronistic and the au courant. This dichotomy explains his work to a considerable degree. For someone who has known him for nearly 30 years, his recent renderings of rainbow trout and a great blue heron in acrylic and gold leaf on a pair of Jordan 1s seem apt totems, revealing his influences and elements of his biography.

As he came of age in the 1980s, Thompson’s family split time between Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood and a rustic camp in Silver Bay, which has stood along the northwestern extent of the Adirondacks’ Lake George for generations. The city’s frenetic pace taught Thompson to be observant, and the audacity of street art served to encourage his creative impulses. Time spent upstate offered a valuable contrast, as the setting exposed Thompson to a different visual language and its slower rhythms engendered exploration in order to maintain the level of stimulus the city provided. Hiking in the Adirondack woodlands, plying the waters of Van Buren Bay in the wooden Sunfish his grandfather built, or staring through the still surface of the lake from the docks of the Oneita Boat Club, Thompson’s fascination with the wilderness took root…

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