Diskursdisko: Looking at your archive of work, I see a strong progression in style from the earlier works, which are more abstract, to more recent collages and still lives. Do you feel this is a natural progression, or have you made conscious choices in determining the direction of your art?
Hollis Brown Thornton : Early, I really didn’t have specific ideas of what I wanted to paint. General themes, but nothing specific. Really more influenced by other artists. So, on the level of being new and young to making art, abstraction was an obvious direction. Plus, most of my early favorites were abstract expressionists or related to that genre (Rothko, Klein, Twombly, Johns). On a conscious level, I was intent on understanding how to control the paint.
From an early stage, I wanted the surface of the paintings to be smooth and visibly eroded, so there were vague ideas about the content of the paintings dealing with time/age/erosion. Later, I became focused creation mythology and the psychology of creation, so abstraction was pursued at that time with the ideas of something being in the state of formation and potential as a theme.
And really from that time period, around 2003 until present, to the best of my knowledge I’ve been making conscious decisions on what I use in the paintings. Sometimes the development seems very natural and sometimes it seems completely chaotic.