Jamal Thorne

  • Jamal Thorne

    Green #1, mixed media on paper, 31 x 46 inches.

    Green #1
  • Jamal Thorne

    Blue #1, mixed media on paper, 18 x 24 inches.

    Blue #1
  • Jamal Thorne

    Untitled #21, mixed media on paper, 36 x 24 inches.

    Untitled #21
  • Jamal Thorne

    Red #2, mixed media on paper, 36 x 24 inches.

    Red #2
  • Jamal Thorne

    Untitled #22, mixed media on paper, 18 x 24 inches.

    Untitled #22
  • Jamal Thorne

    Untitled #18, mixed media on paper, 24 x 18 inches.

    Untitled #18

Artist Statement

A smart woman told me to remember Huey Newton but "be careful not to forget Emmit Till." At the time, a roll of the eyes seemed appropriate, but that's what's expected of a twenty-one year old. Thankfully I am free from experiencing the atrocities Emmit Till suffered and in that sense, we've made progress. Because such progress has been made, it is difficult to establish a solid connection to the experiences of the aforementioned mentioned figures. Our experience is living with the tales of Rosa Parks and Huey Newton, but watching the trial of George Zimmerman unfold. Everyone digs into the past but is confronted with the idiosyncrasies of the present. Digital media allows us to time travel and our experience is a composite of what we find and what we see today. My work is an attempt at visualizing this dynamic. Like an event occurs in time, a layer composed of tape and paint is created. As time moves forward and new events occur, a new layer of paint covers the previous layer. While some things from the previous layers are lost, others are preserved and make an impression upon each new layer that is created. The process of cutting into the accumulation of material serves to mimic the act of reclaiming a connection to the past. The finished work is a documentation of this experience we all have. Things happen, they are lost to time, they make an impression, and we try to reclaim them.

Artist Bio

Jamal Thorne is a Boston based artist who is known for his use of the drawing medium to investigate and visualize the nature of performed identity. With massive drawings, Jamal blends references from popular culture, religious iconography, and symbolism in an attempt to create a possible image of what our multilayered identities could look like.

Born in Maryland, Jamal Thorne received his BA in Photographic Media from Morgan State University in 2008. Thorne relocated to Boston where he became the pioneering student in a newly formed cooperative MFA Program between Northeastern University and The School of the Museum of Fine Art. He has exhibited his work at venues that include the James E. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and the Huret and Specter Gallery in Boston. Jamal Thorne also received the Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant in 2012. While continuing his work as an artist, Jamal serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern University and as Visiting Faculty at the Eliot School for Fine/Applied Arts.

Work available on Artsy


Pangaea and Panthalassa, group show on Artsy, September 30-October 31, 2020
Figuratively Speaking, group show on Artsy, June 24-July 31, 2020
Fragments and Lost Verses
, June 24-July 26, 2020

Timestream Muckery, April 3-28, 2019
Bootleg DeLorean, February 28-April 1, 2018
All the Members: Relay, January 4-29, 2017
Phantasmal Espionage, February 3-28, 2016
I Know Just What You're Saying, January 6-31, 2016

Press + Media

McQuaid, Cate. "What's Happening (digitally) in the arts world." The Boston Globe, July 2, 2020.
Fragments and Lost Verses, Press Release, March 11, 2020.
"An Interview with artist Jamal Thorne." Kingston Blog, April 18, 2019.
Jamal Thorne, Timestream Muckery, in the Kingston Main Gallery, April 3, 2019.
Jamal Thorne, Bootleg DeLorean, in the Project Space, January 15, 2015.
McQuaid, Cate. "Capturing divisiveness." The Boston Globe, February 16, 2016.
Kingston Gallery Features Monumental Graphite Drawings by Jamal Thorne, December 20, 2015.

Website: www.bigbaddrawing.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ajani_peace
Email: jamal.thorne.draw@gmail.com

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