Montana Thomas

www.montanathomas.com/

Cow Shopping, 2019 (excerpt)

Digital Video with Audio
Running time: 7:35 min
Excerpt: 1:00 min

Painting 4 (Kissing in the Hay/Pissing in the Hay), 2018 (excerpt)

Digital Video
Running time: 14:56 min
Excerpt: 3:00 min

Painting 2 (Raffle Slab), 2018 (excerpt)

Digital Video
Running time: 15:14 min
Excerpt: 3:00 min

Toilet Paper Roll, 2016

Oil on canvas
24 in x 30 in x 1 in

Undies, 2017

Oil on canvas
24 in x 30 in x 1 in

Elizabeth Farren (Elizabeth Farren & Sir Thomas Lawrence After Google), 2018 (excerpt)

Digital Video with Audio
Running time: 5:32 min

Literally Us S01E04 “Birthday Bash” Part 1/2, 2017 (excerpt)

Digital Video with Audio
Running time: 7:57 min
Excerpt: 3:00 min

Readi (Wip), 2018 (excerpt)

Digital Video with Audio
Running Time: 7:10
Excerpt 3:00 min

Artist Statement

Working across mediums, I reconfigure and juxtapose mundane objects of artificiality and consumerism such as soda cans, whipped cream, tennis balls or hammers. Through painting I create still lifes, pairing the objects within white, desolate spaces, inserting these low-culture objects into the grand history of still life painting. In improvised performances I play with these products, my body, and the space, making a mess. By removing these objects from their traditional utility I inject them new relationships and narratives (comedy, eroticism, or sadness).

My video work challenges the authenticity of selfby referencing celebrity culture, reality television, trends, and stock characters, engaging with these themes through theatricality and satire. Satirizing grotesque habits of historic aristocracy highlights the absurdity of our current fascination with it; reproducing the overly simple story-making and celebrity-production of reality television can provide insights into our political situation. In an ongoing video series I construct scenes using an amalgamation of tropes and narratives from the history of painting. Throughout these videos, performers hold poses for extended periods of time. As the video goes on the performers begin to shake, cough, or move to scratch an itchsometimes two performers forced to hold eye contact will begin to laugh. Through this, the instability and provisional nature of these roles is revealed.

My work confronts societal and interpersonal stock characters, advertisements and other lingering residue of capitalism which contribute to the production of a self by closely examining and then playfully exaggerating their artifice. This artifice is pervasive; from famous figures and the spectacle, to products, phrases and social customs of everyday life. Highlighting our daily performance of these learned roles and rituals around consumerism and identity-building allows us to laugh at our selveswhile cowering from our potential emptiness.