Thorazine Sunrise

Thorazine Sunrise (2007) by Thomas Huyghe

The Thorazine Sunrise installation plays a game with perception. We see five 'bubbles' depicting exuberantly smiling faces of beautiful people. They seem happy and cheerful, but if you keep watching them, their smile turns into a grimace. As the artist painted the digitally processed faces on a rounded support, their features are manipulated and start showing an unnatural smile and an ecstatic look into infinity. The title tells more and refers to the antidepressant Thorazine, a drug that brings people into a temporary artificial intoxication of normality.

So it seems that the painted figures on the domes are caught in a cocoon of seemingly happiness, manipulated and indoctrinated by a society that mirrors perfection. By a convex mirror put into one of the domes, the game of contemplation and reflection is challenged even further.

image Thomas Huyghe °1971, Bruges, Belgium
Lives and works in Ghent, Belgium -

1989-1993 Institute of Visual Arts Sint-Lucas Ghent: Graphic Design
1993-1996 University College Ghent, Department Sint-Lucas Ghent: Painting
2000-2001 University College Ghent, Ghent Academy Department: Mixed Media

Huyghe, painter and sculptor, works with the surface of objects: his language can display a carefully stylized grin or provide a layered structure of meandering associations or assumptions. As an artist, he is strongly convinced of the potential austerity of a picture, regardless of the importance of detail. Pictures are so ubiquitous in the public domain that they are almost transparent or interchangeable, but with Thomas Huyghe they are still human by the way they are integrated into his objects. His exquisite handcraft, with attention for detail and finish, combines recognizable images and symbols that result in a visual language that repels but at the same time also attracts.

Zebrastraat - - Thorazine Sunrise by Thomas Huyghe