Already an accomplished and long-established writer, Ron Throop relatively recently began exhibiting his paintings. They are direct visual counterparts to his writings that, like Henry David Thoreau’s in the 19th century, ask us to reconsider mankind’s current wayward course; they simultaneously promote the simple pleasure found in creativity, nature, family and friends. With bright color, straightforward drawing and scrawled inscriptions, Throop’s painting style initially suggests the work of a naïve or folk artist detached from mainstream 21st century concerns. Upon further consideration, we discover they offer no quaint story or escapist pleasure. As in a children’s story, both the people and animals of the land communicate their complex thoughts which are of the utmost seriousness. These works react to the recent debate in New York State over “hydrofracking”—the controversial means of extracting natural gas hidden in layers of shale deep beneath the surface. Throop’s kingdom of creatures burden under the weight of knowing that their environment may be contaminated by the various chemicals, known and unknown, employed in the natural gas extraction process.
1. "The Existential Worker Hornet Thinks It Might Prefer Euthanasia by Methane Gas" 2012. Acrylic on panel, 14 x 18"
2. "The Boar Thinks Benzene Poisoning is Funny" 2012. Acrylic on panel, 18 x 14"
3. "The Trout Swims Joyfully in a River pool of Toluene Paint Thinner" 2012. Acrylic on panel, 14 x 18"