Patricia Thoma hails from the Markgräflerland in South Germany, where she was born in 1977 in the town of Müllheim. She studied at the Art Academy in Stuttgart from 1996 – 2001. In 2000 she was an Erasmus fellow at the University of Derby’s School of Art and Design in England. She spent 2003 at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, where she received her Master of Arts. Patricia Thoma was lecturer at the College of Art and Design in Bengbu, China, in 2006, and, in 2009 she began teaching at Anhui University in Hefei, China (both in Anhui province, Eastern China).
There are two sides to her work: One is the illustration of children’s books (examples on the artist’s website), the other her large drawings and paintings of human figures.
Another series of works are the small sculptures, mainly garments, looking lush and flamboyant. They are nevertheless made of plastic bags – a biting commentary on fashion, brands and life in general.
Her nearly life-size images, painted with pencil and watercolour on transparent paper, as well as her smaller works on masonite, show men and women of all ages: young women with swords and broken toys, young men with their dogs, women in roughly-textured clothes with handkerchiefs and different constellations of couples. The beholder is confronted by what the figures have in common: unflattering poses and garments, and sometimes their wounded, vulnerable bodies.
Renouncing the common idea of (superficial) beauty, Thoma works with the existential questions that surround the human body, in its symbolical reference to the conditio humana. She reveals vulnerability and fragility, comparing, in her own words, humans and nocturnal insects: “Moths are the butterflies of the night, very fragile creatures, which can be de-equilibrated by the slightest breath of air. (…) The moth’s wings are wafer thin and covered with fine pigments. The markings on their wings are very sensitive and are easily damaged. Moths fly around a shining light bulb and are constantly in danger of having their wings burned. The typology of moths shows parallels to the works. The pigments in both cases seem to have been just breathed upon, their surface is highly vulnerable. The works live in, and from, the moment, their life span seems limited. Like the moths, the humans seem to fly around an imaginary light bulb, as if floodlighted, sometimes surrounded by a menacing darkness. They are always in danger of losing their balance and crashing.”
Paradiesäpfel, 04.09.2010 - 02.10.2010, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
STRAHL DICH AUS!, 05.12.2009 - 15.02.2010, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
Tag- und Nachtfalter, 12.05.2006 - 01.07.2006, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
Blutdiamanten, Dec. 3, 2016 - Dec. 23, 2016 and Jan. 3, 2017 - Jan. 22, 2017, Alte Feuerwache, Berlin
Schnittstelle, May 29, 2015 until July 12, 2015, Gmünder Kunstverein e.V., Schwäbisch Gmünd
Why not?, April 29, 2014 until May 18, 2014, Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan
WeldeKunstpreis retrospective, April 11, 2014 until May 18, 2014, Stadtgalerie Mannheim
Flowers, May 2, 2014 until May 10, 2014, Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan
Nuclear Art Talk, April 19, 2014 until May 4, 2014, One Year Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
Who´s the strongest? – Papercuts, April 13, 2013 until Dec. 31, 2013, Goethe-Institut Taipei, Taiwan