Prince Varughese Thomas
Resurrection (Video Still), from the series, 2017
Pigment Print, Metallic Warm, Printed in 2018, Edition 1/15, 5 ⅝ x 10 inches, signed in ink on back
Courtesy of the artist and Hooks-Epstein Gallery, Houston, TX
A child of Indian immigrants born in Kuwait and raised in Kerala, India, and the United States, Thomas has always felt like an outsider. His studio practice is informed by his ethnicity and by having faced racial prejudice throughout his life. From the Iran hostage crisis in the 1970s, to aggressions in Libya in the 1980s, to the first Gulf War in the 1990s, and then 9/11, he sees each decade of his life as having been marked by events that have intensified the prejudice he has witnessed and experienced. An Indian American, his identity has always been malleable enough for others to perceive him as a threat or the enemy. His sense of being “other” has directly affected his worldview and his work. With degrees in both psychology and art, he investigates and deconstructs complex sociopolitical issues from the interstices in expressive ways that humanize his subjects while incorporating a variety of photographic, video, drawing, and installation techniques. His work has been characterized as poetic moments captured in chaotic worlds.
A winner of the Time-Based Media in Art Prize 7 and a Texas Biennial Artist, Thomas has been invited to be a visiting artist, lecturer, panelist, and workshop instructor at numerous institutions, including Ashkal Alwan, Beirut; Indiana University; Memphis College of Art; the Light Factory, Charlotte; the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston; and the Queens Museum, New York. Thomas’s work has been exhibited in over 175 solo and group exhibitions at numerous museums, galleries, and alternative spaces. His work is represented in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Thomas is a professor of art at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.