Thrush Byron Keats Holmes is a Toronto-based painter who explores traditional artistic themes in an aggressive, unapologetically contemporary way, contrasting poetic tropes with a punk sensibility. Romantic and idealistic, his naive forms (nudes, rainbows, still life florals) reference modernists like Picasso and Matisse, dissolving studies further into dripping, crude gestures of oil stick and neon light. Entirely self-taught outside two weeks in art school - where he quit after being told he couldn’t fast-track to his final year - Holmes’ process mirrors his ambitions. 20-ft paintings are made in a single sitting, and the initials ‘TH’ are often large enough in the bottom corner of a piece to be considered a compositional element. Holmes’ newest works have begun to add nostalgia and introspection to an ongoing analysis of mythology, archetypes, and ego.
Holmes has work is found in permanent collections worldwide including the Elton John Aids Foundation, Sony Music, Dreamworks Studio, Detroit Art Collection and Def Jam Records among others.
Oil, oil stick, enamel, spray paint, urethane glue, neon on canvas, and mounted to panel
84h x 144w in
“I’m editing now. There is more care. The work needs to be strong and it needs to have guts.”
— Thrush Holmes