Fool’s Fire: Eli Thorne

Exhibitions Gallery 16

Fool’s Fire: Eli Thorne

Apr 5 — May 31, 2019

Check gallery website for hours and additional info

Double Strength at Gallery 16 is pleased to present Fool’s Fire, Eli Thorne’s exploration of transgender identity through painted landscapes. The exhibition is viewable through the exterior windows facing Bryant Street. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery and will be on view through May 31, 2019, with an opening reception on Friday, April 5 from 6 to 9pm.


Eli Thorne’s paintings represent a rich imaginative world filled with symbols and allegory that

incorporate both autobiographical and fabricated narratives. Using his personal experiences as a trans man, his work explores the notion of a lost boyhood, expressing regrets, fear, and nostalgia for a time in his life he never had. Powerful animals and emblems of contemporary trans life all occupy a fantastical space. The compositions of his paintings are driven by intuition rather than logic and evoke sentiments of love, tenderness, death, energy, force, and power all at once. Viewed as a whole, these paintings and others are a body of work that are representative of Thorne’s psychological and spiritual process of reconciling what his own boyhood could have been.


Eli Thorne is an Oakland based artist. He was born in Harrogate, England, and raised in Santa Cruz, California. He received his BFA at UC Berkeley. Later received his MFA from Mills College. Eli’s art practice is an exploration of adolescent and adult male identity in a contemporary masculine culture. As a trans male, his work aims to reconcile and negotiate his own sense of and relationship to manhood.