Ten Ways to Approach Art – #9

modeled and cast ceramic

Jack Thompson, Gemini, 2004, modeled and cast ceramic (earthenware) painted with Liquin oil medium and pigments, sealed with clear acrylic laquer, 30″ x 29″ x 31″, James A. Michener Art Museum. Gift of the artist.

Tip #9 – A work of art can be beautiful, ugly, challenging, inspiring or confrontational. A work of art can stimulate thinking. 

Jack Thompson is a surrealist sculptor who has traveled the world in search of ideas for his work. As a student of modern psychology, Thompson is deeply interested in mythology and symbols of the cycle of life. His sculptures frequently depict fantastical creatures in the process of transforming from one stage to the next: vegetable to animal, animal to human. Another favorite theme is funeral boats found in Egyptian and Norse mythology. His wife and pets have been models for his sculptures numerous times.

Use the following questions below to help guide you in closer looking at this work of art.

Looking Questions:

  • What do you see in this work? Write down all the details.
  • Describe the art elements you see in this sculpture including form, symmetry, balance, and line.
  • How does the artist use color in this sculpture?
  • What is usual in this sculpture? Why?
  • Does this sculpture remind you of anything familiar? A book? A period of history? Something you have seen or experienced?
  • Does the title of the work help you understand the sculpture? Why or why not?
  • If you could tell a story about this work, what would it be?
  • How does this sculpture make you feel? What do you see that gives you those feelings?

Related Resources:

  • Download the activity sheet on Jack Thompson’s Gemini.
  • Learn more about Jack Thompson on the Bucks County Artists’ Database.
  • Look at the work of other surrealist artists on display at the Michener, including the work of Franz Jozef Ponstingl.
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