Storm Tharp @ PDX Contemporary.

Drive-by post using Storm Tharp‘s own words to describe his art best:

“According to Roman Mythology, the Pillars of Hercules were built by Hercules near the Straits of Gibraltar. The pillars are, in fact, two peaks rising from the sea at the edge of the Mediterranean (the edge of the known world), where Hercules engraved the latin phrase, Non Plus Ultra (nothing further beyond). The engraving served as a warning to sailors and adventurers to proceed no further. Helpful as it may have been intended, it also marks a rather conservative and careful observation that was challenged by Plato who suggested that beyond the Pillars of Hercules lied Atlantis. Enlightenment.

Personally, the myth functions as a grandiose metaphor for the creative quest. The myth happens to be a convenient and pleasant discovery made while reading about the philosophy and origins of perfection. (In contemporary language, Non Plus Ultra is used to denote a nonpareil, a perfection of sorts.) I have been regarding painters with distinctive philosophies on the subject. In particular, Ad Reinhardt and Agnes Martin, both of whom cite Greek and Chinese philosophy as the high minds to their respective pursuits and regard perfection in the Classical sense: that “perfect” is in fact “complete”, that nothing is added nor subtracted.

In some regard, the drawings from Hercules reflect a desire to observe philosophy and to encounter perfection – to be enlightened. The maximal and decorated inclinations are in question. The labor and the effort are being weighed. Representation is scrutinized and the desire to explore the formlessness of abstraction is pursued. I do not intend to discount the work as intermediary, although it is fair and exciting to suggest that the work represents both a closing and an opening. The nods to Minimalism throughout are both revering as much as they suggest an end game and, ultimately, a question.”

Groton House


Man Behind A Desk

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

View all articles
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] “Perfect” by Storm Tharp. Picture credits: Redefine mag. […]

Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x