Archikulture Digest

Thomas Thorspecken Sketches the Audience

Thomas Thorspecken Sketches the Audience

Created by Play The Moment Productions, Analog Artist Digital World and Brian Feldman Projects

Concept by Brian Feldman

Starring Thomas Thorspecken

September 5, 2010

Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Orlando, FL</strong>

Rain is imminent on this muggy September evening, and the show’s star is nervous. How many people will attend this inverted theatrical experience? Inside the Goldman Theater, the atmosphere strikes me as a bit like a pleasant funeral – Thorspecken is dressed in a sedate suit, melancholy oboe music hides behind the arras, and a crowd of two dozen mingles and jokes. Theatre people are wearing the mandatory black, and cameras flash as everyone attempts to document the one single image that will freeze this collective evening. Brian Feldman kvetches he’s been up for 48 hours straight, Orange County arts maven Terry Olson asks technical questions about his iPhone, and the tattooed dude in the kilt considers doing laps throughout the evening to mess with the artist. Classic sketches by Thorspecken litter the walls, some carefully lit by a single blue white Cree High Efficiency Light Emitting Diode. Cheap wine drives a lighthearted attitude. No one is sure what to expect

Wait. Sorry. You don’t know what’s happening, do you? Thomas Thorspecken is “The Analog Artist in a Digital World.” For the past few years he’s attended a vast assemblage of art, theater and festival events, and carefully documented “The Moment” in ink and water colors. Tonight he sketches a paying audience in real time with an overhead camera and a projector so we can watch the process. On one hand, this should be dead easy for TT; but he’s not usually in the spot light and I rarely have anyone watch me write.

How to describe TT’s style? It’s quick and loose with fine details and broad swaths of color. Like any sketch, details are multileveled: sometimes you can read a gum wrapper, other times foreground faces are mere smudges. His sketches reside in five by eight notebooks – the gutter between pages is always present, sort of like the staple in a centerfold’s navel. His sketches are naïve and profound, capturing unplanned moments as well as the most transient experiences. In other words, you can smell the sweat.

With stage cans pouring light on him, he wears a baseball cap to keep from being blinded, and a camera man valiantly tracks his work from 3 feet above. The start is slow, a dull number 2 pencil makes some landmarks for him to sketch against. The audience fidgets and the sort of low conversations you hear before the eulogy skips across the room. Shutters click, and Feldman pans a camcorder across the room, eventually focusing on the exact subject TT is jotting down. It’s a perfect universe of narcissism, we watch ourselves on TV and in a faux courtroom documentary.

Barely visible lead lines are fixed firmly with a fine-tipped Sharpie as he starts in the center and works outward. A pen is dropped and replaced, and a woman exclaims “make me a hexagon!” It’s clear some people will fall off the page. Some wise guys move around, aiming to be in the picture twice. Eventually colors come out, and the drawing is nearly done. I consider asking Feldman if he wants to proof this review, but what’s the use? He won’t let any typos slip by. Art – consider it made.

For more information on Brian Feldman Projects, please visit http://www.brianfeldman.com/

To see the result of this performance please visit http://thorspecken.blogspot.com/</em>


Recently on Ink 19...

What This Comedian Said Will Shock You

What This Comedian Said Will Shock You

Print Reviews

With his latest book, What This Comedian Said Will Shock You, celebrated stand-up Jedi Bill Maher “shocks” readers by doing the most outrageous, unthinkable, and socially unacceptable thing imaginable: he speaks rationally, logically, and objectively.

Gasoline Lollipops

Gasoline Lollipops

Features

Gasoline Lollipops’ newest single, “Freedom Don’t Come Easy,” is today’s mother lovin’ punk rock folk anthem.

Basket Case

Basket Case

Screen Reviews

Frank Henenlotter’s gory grindhouse classic Basket Case looks as grimy as the streets of Times Square, and that is one of the film’s greatest assets. Arrow Video gives this unlikely candidate a welcome fresh release.

Jimmy Failla

Jimmy Failla

Event Reviews

Despite the Mother’s Day factor, hundreds of fervent, faithful followers still flocked to Orlando’s famed Plaza Live to catch an earlybird set from Jimmy Failla — one of the hottest names on today’s national comedy scene.

Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker

Features

Ink 19 readers get an early listen and look at “Cool Sparkling Water,” a new single from Lonnie Walker.

Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier has a bucket list day at a Los Lobos 50th Anniversary show in Davenport, Iowa.

Always… Patsy Cline

Always… Patsy Cline

Archikulture Digest

Carl F. Gauze reviews the not-quite one-woman show, Always… Patsy Cline, based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with Louise Seger, who met the star in l961 and corresponded with Cline until her death.