The work of David Thorpe places a strong emphasis on the complexity of its process and the temporality of its production. The work of Thorpe is a love affair with labour and craft, distancing itself through an act of adoration from the alienating characteristics of modernity and the ways of being of the modern man. Inspired in part by the English Arts and Crafts Movement, John Ruskin and the late socialist writing of William Morris, Thorpe applies an aesthetic of organic ornaments and botanical motifs that act as a veil and as a protective skin to enclose and hide an increasingly vital yet marginalized philosophy. Through such a gesture, Thorpe advocates an opposition towards an economic and a social order closely connected with the modern and consequently the contemporary world we are immersed in today. The role of the machine in the work of Thorpe is rendered secondary and emphasis is placed on the careful and the time-consuming process of mixing, layering, cutting, extracting, filling, colouring, questioning thus the value and the nature of labor within the growingly immaterial realm of the present day.
David Thorpe (1972, London) lives and works in Berlin. His work has been exhibited at ICA (London), Hayward Gallery (London), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Tate Britain (London), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Saatchi Gallery (London), Santa Barbara Museum of Art (Santa Barbara), Camden Arts Centre (London) or Kunstverein Hannover (Hannover) among other.