THOMAS FLYNN II: THE LOTUS EATER

October 2 - November 7, 2021

Pictured Above: The Lotus Eater, 2021, Acrylic on stretched canvas, 40 x 30 inches


Please click on the images to see artwork descriptions.

Pictured Above: 

Left: Memories of your touch become constellations beneath my skin, 2021 , Acrylic on stretched canvas, 23.75 x 34.5 inches 


Right: I contain each and every star within lips and within my kiss, 2021, Acrylic on floating shaped panels 

Total installed size: 22.75 x 12.5 inches 

Each panel: 22.75 x 5.5 inches 

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Thomas Flynn II's Instagram: @thomasflynnii

The Lotus Eater

Exhibition Date: October 2 - November 7, 2021

Virtual Artist Talk: October 17, 2021 at 2 pm CST via Zoom 

Exhibition Statement:

There is an inherent magic in the everyday. These moments are those that pass by with no easy explanation but leaving in their wake wonder and often disorientation. My work investigates these moments that occur in the space between wakefulness and these disruptions that have a certain magic to them. These moments find their way into my work in unexpected ways - think of when you stand up too fast or rub your eyes for too long - it is those star colors locked in the eyes that find their way into my work. The understanding of ocular color is the inspiration for the color palette – how the eyes physically process color when visual information is lacking or delayed. 

The Lotus Eater series is influenced by a poem written by the artist of the same name. In it, myth and dreams are explored as well as nighttime lovers, flowering stars, and ultimately the line between life and death. The name is a reference to the Lotus Eaters’ mentioned in the Odyssey, consuming their dream flowers endlessly.

Enamored with unknown myths of night blooming flowers, I incorporated their silhouettes with comets and stars inspired by depictions in various medieval manuscripts. These depictions of flora and cosmic occurrences combine into a unique fusion of myth, magic, and wonder.

The work balances between figurative representation and color blocked fields referencing the inhabitants of the Earth and those of the stars. Like a half-remembered dream, viewers navigate split faces, arching bodies, flowers casting shadows on the moon – all covered in glittering stars, all filled with the magic of night.

-Thomas Flynn II

Curatorial Statement:

In The Lotus Eater, Thomas Flynn II concocts a nighttime remedy for the mundane. Our worldly lives receive a brief period of transcendence during the darkness of the night. The paintings are both loose and solid. Maybe they allude to that intermediate state between being conscious and unconscious. Dreams and nightmares collide in this abyssal realm full of fantasies and the uncanny. Our bodies remain still as our desires and fears touch this cool October skin gently. Night flowers release their sweet aroma to attract those that yearn for their nectar. Moths dance in the sky, free from the sun's violent rays. They remind us that we sometimes just need the dim light pulsating from the stars. Stepping out in broad daylight often overexposes us. What we desire is the safety of the shadows. We reach out to that cure that heals all earthly ailments. This drug makes our entire being feel drowsy, but the mind can fully activate. Through sleepwalking, we step into this realm of neither life nor death. Sometimes experiencing ecstasy with our eyes shut allows us to see visions of our true selves.  

-Narong Tintamusik

Biography:

Thomas Flynn II is a multi-disciplinary artist working primarily in acrylic painting focusing on the space between sleep and waking life. His work has been included in the SCAD permanent collection, featured as a directory artist on Visionary Arts Collective, Musik Curatorial, and on Visual Space among other publications. He has exhibited in Texas, Georgia, and curated into virtual group and solo exhibitions internationally.  Flynn received a B.F.A. in painting and a minor in art history from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2016.  In addition to his own art practice, Thomas is the editor for the juried hardcover book, Friend of the Artist. Flynn is currently living and working in Dallas but will relocate to North Austin in October 2021.

Please click on the images to see artwork descriptions.

THE LOTUS EATER

By Thomas Flynn II

Beware the lotus eater, oh shining one,
for the red sun descends,
white needle holes burn
through the skin of the sky. Blood comet tails
soak the bare chest - with restless fingers,
with bated breath.

Arched lover’s back, soft lover’s cave,
four night-clouded eyes speak
soft secrets in the nave, and I contain
each and every star within my lips
and within my kiss. oh
there would be so much here to miss.

Beware the lotus eater, oh dreaming one,
for within my lips and within my touch,
the poison lingers.

There are stars within us, there are stars above,
there are stars contained in those we love.

The night flowers talk, they speak too much, of things hidden, of things
clutched. Pearl-like layers built over time,
screaming quietly, it does not take much to die.

I’ve eaten the fruit, and so has she,
and now there is no memory of what life could be.

Beware the lotus eater, oh son of Sekhmet,
for your crown flower blooms red,
your sun has set. Heat rises,
consumes the flesh, the perfumed shell breaks,
exposing the rest. Now without petals,
resuscitated too late, you wander the stars,
seeking blue flowers to taste.


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