Hollis Brown Thornton’s “When We Were Kings”


When We Were Kings, permanent marker on paper, 22 1/2 x 30 in

We previously featured Hollis Brown Thornton on EIL with his nostalgic drawing, painting and pigment transfer works. Now, just in time for Halloween, Thornton releases his new drawing When We Were Kings on 20X200.  Hollis explains how this drawing came about:

The initial idea for When We Were Kings came from Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God sculpture. When I see a Hirst/Barney/Murakami sculpture, I always wonder how I would produce that in my limited means. The pixels are similar to the diamonds, in their repetition and subtle variation. The title I chose references the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman documentary of the same name. It was such an unforgettable experience watching those two men, in perfect condition, attempting to be the greater boxer. The title When We Were Kings suggests no matter how great we become, we’re never king for long. It plays on the simple idea of mortality; everyone can only be great for a brief period of time. The skull is the great equalizer: No matter who you are, everyone eventually leaves behind a simple skull.


Hollis Brown Thornton’s When We Were Kings on 20X200

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