EXHIBITION
CONCEPT
/
BIOGRAPHY
/
VIEW WORKS
/
INFORMATION
/
INSTALLATION IMAGES
/
INTERVIEW

HOLD YOUR FIRE

THOMAS DOYLE

NOV 23, 2018 - FEB 13, 2019

CONCEPT

New York-based artist Thomas Doyle’s
first solo exhibition in Japan.

Thomas Doyle is an artist whose miniature sculptures turn everyday life on its head.
He often features domestic scenes undercut with themes of isolation, separation,
and crisis.

DIESEL ART GALLERY presents sculpture artist Thomas Doyle’s first solo exhibition in Japan, “HOLD YOUR FIRE,” from November 23, 2018 to February 13, 2019. The exhibition will feature a large 2-meter sculpture as its main work as well as multiple miniature scenes displayed under glass. The artist’s macro photographs of miniature figures will also be on display.

CONCEPT:
The “HOLD YOUR FIRE” exhibition will bring together works that showcase the range of Thomas Doyle’s artistic practice, including both his miniature sculpture and his photographs of the tiny figures that populate his work.
The exhibition’s title, “HOLD YOUR FIRE,” speaks to the works’ psychological content
– the memories and thoughts we carry within us – as well as the palpable anxiety in between times of conflict.
As the world copes with frequent wars, natural disasters, refugee crises, pollution, and protests, it often feels that we are living in an era of constant disaster. Doyle contrasts the anxiety these disasters evoke with work sculpted in small, intimate scales that communicate a timeless longing for the stability of home, hearth, and family. The contradiction of the two is sure to fascinate gallery attendees.
Tokyo’s ever-changing cityscape adds new, huge buildings all the time as the city heads toward 2020. These massive developments contrast curiously with the Japanese affection for miniatures. This context makes Doyle’s work particularly suited for the DIESEL ART GALLERY, which is located in the center of Shibuya, the district often associated with culture, fashion and entertainment.

ARTIST STATEMENT
“Often sealed under glass, the works depict the remnants of things past—whether major, transformational experiences, or the quieter moments that resonate loudly throughout a life.
In much the way the mind recalls events through the fog of time, the works distort reality through a warped and dreamlike lens.”

BIOGRAPHY

  • Thomas Doyle

    http://www.thomasdoyle.net/distillation/

    Thomas Doyle was born in Michigan, USA in 1976 and now lives and works in New York.
    Doyle’s work combines his formal training as a painter and printmaker with a fascination with scale models that began at an early age.
    His sculptures, rendered in 1:100 to 1:43 scale, often depict human figures beset by quiet calamities, often of the natural kind.
    Doyle’s work has been shown at museums and galleries across the US, Europe, and Asia.
    Images of his work have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Newsweek, and other publications.
    He is a recipient of the 2009 West Collection purchase prize and a fellowship from the MacDowell Colony.

VIEW WORKS

Mire, 2013 ©Thomas Doyle

Mire, 2013 ©Thomas Doyle

Proxy (45 Catherine Ct.), 2018 ©Thomas Doyle

False Flag, 2012 ©Thomas Doyle

Light no Fires, 2018 ©Thomas Doyle

Girl #5, 2011 ©Thomas Doyle

Proxy (28 Sapper Ave.), 2015 ©Thomas Doyle

Staging Area, 2014 ©Thomas Doyle

Staging Area, 2014 ©Thomas Doyle

Redoubt, redux, 2012 ©Thomas Doyle

Redoubt, redux, 2012 ©Thomas Doyle

You Remember It, or It Remembers You, 2014 ©Thomas Doyle

You Remember It, or It Remembers You, 2014 ©Thomas Doyle

© Thomas Doyle

© Thomas Doyle

Title
HOLD YOUR FIRE
Artist
Thomas Doyle
Date
Nov 23, 2018 - Feb 13, 2019
Venue
DIESEL ART GALLERY
WEB
www.diesel.co.jp/art
Address
cocoti B1F, 1-23-16, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel
03-6427-5955
Hours
11:30 - 21:00
Holidays
Non-Regular Holiday
Curation
+81
Curation
+81
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INSTALLATION IMAGES

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

photo by Kengo Tsutsumi

INTERVIEW

Thomas Doyle
Special Interview

--Please tell us about yourself.
I’m an artist living and working in a small town just outside of New York City. I create miniature worlds populated with tiny figures. Most of these are scenes that depict “frozen” moments – where something is about to happen or something just happened. I started making this type of artwork in 2003.

--What is the concept and meaning of the title,“HOLD YOUR FIRE”?
“Hold your fire” is a command one might hear on a battlefield – to stop firing a weapon. Many of the titles in my work play with double meanings in English. In this case, I like the idea of the title of this show referencing warfare … but “hold your fire” to me also seems to relate to holding onto the spirit or essence inside of a person. Whatever drives a person – be it anger, or kindness, or creativity – you may consider that the “fire” inside.

--What is the reason that you have chose themes like 「Isolation」,「Separation」and「Crisis」 which relates to human’s anxiety?
I’ve been interested in the themes of isolation, separation, and crisis for many, many years. Before I made miniature work these types of themes appeared in painting, monoprints, and other artwork I created. They seem to me to be a core aspect of what it means to be human. Using these themes in my own work provides an outlet to think through any feelings of anxiety I may have from time to time. Hopefully this provides viewers with a different perspective as well. The miniature tends to be a very suitable medium for these themes for two reasons. First, it is unexpected, as we assume miniatures to be cute and “easy” to comprehend. Secondly, using miniatures allows the viewer to “shrink” problems down to a manageable size. I find that comforting, and I think other do as well.

--We understand that you started to create your miniature figures from childhood, but how did you happen to be an artist? Was it a natural thing? Have you done any other genres of art than miniature figures?
I have spent my entire life making things, so it is not a surprise that I became an artist. I played in rock bands, wrote fiction, painted, made prints, drew cartoons – I was always creating something. I ultimately found that making visual art was how I could express myself best. I was really into miniatures as a child, and only returned to it in 2002, when I found it fit well with the sort of themes I wanted to use in my art.

--Please tell us the biggest sculpture that you have made.
The largest sculpture I made was about 15.5 feet (4.7 meters) long, for a solo museum show I had in New York. The work depicted a scale river that was dammed by two massive piles of trash. Between these a family had built a home in the river bed. It took me the better part of a year to create it.

--What do you most likely to come up with the idea of your artwork? What is your inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes in short bursts during daydreaming. Reading the news, talking to people, learning about history and the world – all of these things factor into my artwork. When an idea comes to me I try to write it down and sketch it out. I have many ideas, and far too little time to create them all. So I pick and choose what I want to make. It may take minutes to stumble on an idea, but it takes many hours to make the final work.

--Do you have any book, music or movie that influenced you?
I used to read a lot of history – particularly the history of World War II – and that has been a large influence on my works that depict conflict/destruction. I have an affinity for science fiction films and books – anything that bends reality and shows us a fresh, uncanny take on the world around us.

--How do you spend your day-off?
I spend time with my family, repair things in my home, run errands, cook, visit friends – regular life things, I think.

--How was your first visit to Japan? How did you feel? Is there anything that inspired you?
I absolutely loved Japan and was so happy to have to opportunity to visit. I have traveled to many places, but Japan was unlike any I had seen. It felt so similar to the United States in many aspects, but so far apart as well, in a way that is hard to describe. While there I visited Tokyo, Takayama, and Kyoto, and I look forward to returning. To be honest, one of the things I found I loved the most was the capsule machines I found all over the country – where you put in a few yen and take out a toy/object. I am obviously fond of miniatures and toys, and the sheer number and variety of these machines made me so happy.

--What is your next project and future plan?
I am working on a very different project at the moment, but I’m not quite ready to share it yet. It is a combination of objects, graphic design, and science fiction. If the miniature pieces are short stories, this project is more of a novel – it takes longer to unfold for the viewer.

--Please give a message to your worldwide fans and viewers who are planning to come to the exhibition.
Thank you for making the effort to see the work in person! 99.9% of people viewing artwork do so online – it’s very rare these days to see artwork itself instead of just images of it on a screen. I really love how my works look when photographed, and I think the images tell a great story. However, viewing the works in person is a different experience. When I started making this type of work 15 years ago I did not foresee the opportunities I’ve had to exhibit all over the world – including places like the DIESEL ART GALLERY in Tokyo. I’m grateful to those who have supported my work.