Putting Interiors on Exteriors: Chip Thomas Interviewed, BOMB Magazine
To truly excel at one activity is an accomplishment for anyone. Some people, however, dedicate their lives to approaching the world from several different angles. Chip Thomas is a superlative example of the latter. After narrowly escaping a youth spent in military school, Thomas went to a Quaker Junior High School in the North Carolina mountains. This early exposure to pacifist thinking stayed with him through his years in medical school, punctuated by trips to New York City to experience the ’80s street-art scene, and his eventual medical residency on the Navajo Nation. Now having lived there for over three decades, Thomas combines the healing drive of his medical practice with the creative force of his art to produce large-scale wheatpaste photographic installations on buildings throughout the reservation and cities across the United States. The images feature local people, many of whom face economic hardship and social prejudice. Thomas’s installations act as a tribute to the local culture and a defiant declaration that the resilient community deserves respect and visibility.