"James Brown" by Thomas Birdsong
Acrylic on canvas, framed | Undated | 36.75" x 24.75"
Thomas Birdsong lives and works in Los Angeles. Birdsong has been part of the ECF Art Center Program for over twenty years. His work is primarily created using pen and ink and is almost entirely devoted to portraits of real and fictitious characters in popular culture, specifically musicians and television personalities. His work has a kind of striking yet simplified linear quality that juxtaposes flat drawings with lists of associative words and phrases.
Birdsong culls inspiration from his daily practice of reading the newspaper first thing in the morning from the front page to the obituaries—his favorite section. After meditating on the day’s news, he’ll begin a drawing inspired by someone in a story he’s read. Eyes and mouths are of particular focus in his drawings—Birdsong has often commented on his fascination with the subtle movements and nuances of each person’s eyes and mouths as they speak. Birdsong’s love for art first began while he was attending high school in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles. He was raised in Los Angeles with his mother and three siblings. In addition to being a longtime practicing artist, he is also an accomplished athlete who has competed in several track events in the Special Olympics.