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TJ Norris


A few years ago I flew to Los Angeles with my art dealer at the time. It seemed exciting and odd to me, considering representation outside my chosen region. It had taken years to trust anyone enough to actually represent me, such a mammoth responsibility so I thought – almost too lofty in some sense. When commerce and art cross paths it can be filled with expectations (often inconclusive), the subjective meets the market. But the trip proved to be, in turn, a unique step for my studio practice, and not so much so on the business end of things. While I was in LA I decided to point my camera upward towards monoliths of emptiness – a blank old billboard, a vacant sign where a big box store formerly stood – what used to be prime advertising real estate had now become a dinosaur in the sky.

Upon subsequent hiking trips this trend has taken shape more and more frequently in the Northwest, this void becoming a norm. It’s a bit dystopian to look up to something so quiet scraping the sky. These towering marquees seem so beautiful in their simplicity, subtly subversive shapes, real signs of the times. Their loss of purpose, structure and construction spoke to me, something about negative space on a much bigger scale.

- TJ Norris

* a limited edition print will be available as part of this exhibition