Thomas Deaton

Region: South

City / State: New Orleans, LA

 My recent paintings are narrative cityscapes, fixating on snapshots of blighted neighborhoods in a fictional coastal city based largely on New Orleans. These areas are within view of the bright and bustling downtown, yet they are literally sunken and forgotten, their streets quietly drowning beneath a stagnant and perpetual flood. Houses and backyards are swallowed whole by hungry sinkholes, while lone pedestrians get stoned under street lights darkened by an ever-expanding canopy of verdant leaves.

I’ve built this fictional city from personal memories, history, and other fictions: books, movies. The compositions themselves are false constructs, made of existing structures that I mentally reassemble into a fractured whole. The broken perspectives and thematic emphasis on urban decline and nature’s renewal present my meditations on the character of the American South: criminal-minded, simultaneously charismatic and mean-spirited, beautiful, with an uncanny ability to persevere in the face of an uncertain and increasingly frightening future.