Thomas J Price
#The Distance Within
NEW YORK CITY, USA
Thomas J Price’s multidisciplinary practice confronts preconceived attitudes toward representation, perception, and identity. Price’s large-scale sculptures depict imagined subjects whose features are an amalgamation of sources. Observed individuals and stereotypes represented in the media are mixed with references to ancient, classical, and neoclassical sculptures.
As part of the Price’s first solo US museum presentation titled Thomas J Price: Witness; The Studio Museum in Harlem commissioned Thomas J Price for a temporary public art installation The Distance Within (2021). This monumental artwork is Price’s nine-foot-tall bronze sculpture depicting a young Black man looking down at his cell phone.
Cast in bronze, Price’s nine-foot sculpture was made within our Rock Tavern foundry. Created during the pandemic with travel restrictions in place, UAP’s design and workshop team worked closely with Price and Studio Museum to create a sculpture that would need little physical intervention by the artist. To achieve this, an alternative approach to the mould making process was favored by the team: instead of CNC milling a pattern based on the artist’s 3D model, the pattern was instead 3D printed using a wax-infused PMM. This ensured the mould would capture the subtle details in the provided model and Price wouldn’t need to physically refine the pattern. Once cast in bronze, the finishing team applied a black patina with satin finish.
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, says, “We are thrilled to continue the Studio Museum’s history of introducing the public to artists of African descent and advancing their work by being the first US institution to mount a solo presentation of the sculpture of the remarkable Thomas J Price. In The Distance Within, he celebrates ordinary blackness, rendering it extraordinary, and asks us to deeply consider the very function of monuments as defining the familiar. We feel certain that our public in Harlem, and throughout the city and the world, will find this installation thought-provoking, moving, and extremely powerful.”
The form of The Distance Within pays homage to an earlier Price work, Network, that was presented in the UK in 2013. Price’s large-scale figural sculptures are inspired by real people, often those who live and work in South London, where the artist was born and raised and currently resides.
Price’s relationship to Harlem comes via his lived experience as a Black man looking “across the pond” from his home in Brixton to what he describes as that neighborhood’s “counterpoint.” Both are historically Black neighborhoods with rich social and cultural legacies, which stand in dialogue with one another.
I want to interrogate [notions of] presence, movement, and freedom. Whom do these spaces belong to? And what bodies are provided more or less autonomy to move with liberty through public [space]?-Price
Image Credit: Studio Museum in Harlem and Chris Roque courtesy of UAP | Urban Art Projects
Digital Model & Render
Materials and Construction Methods
Welding and Fabrication
Finishing and Patina