Tim Clorius - Painter & Aerosol Artist

Press Releases & Articles

Tim Clorius: Conversation Piece (From Down East Magazine, May 2011)
May 18 to June 11, 2011
Aucocisco Galleries, 89 Exchange St., Portland. 207-775-2222

Tim Clorius, a tall, articulate German painter, came to Portland a decade ago to study painting at Maine College of Art with Gail Spaien, Sean Foley, Honor Mack, and Ellen Lesperance. “Gail told me, ‘You have a very strange sense of color, but hang on to that,’ ” Clorius recalls.

Clorius is a rare breed of artist, one like the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, who is as comfortable in the street as a tagger or graffiti artist as in the studio as a fine artist. As SUBONE (Supplying Urban Beautification, Offering New Experiences), he creates legal aerosol art in Portland and cities all over the country. In his Congress Street studio, he paints small, exquisite, art historical paintings, dark, cryptic little narrative oils with an apocalyptic look and feel.

The title of Clorius’ Aucocisco show, “Conversation Piece,” refers to the eighteenth-century British convention of painting group portraits of people engaged in genteel conversation, usually outdoors. Both personal and political, Clorius’ small oils are informed by both his dread and his outrage. Several express opposition to genetic engineering. Others deal with an ambivalence about Christianity, the vagaries of how value is determined in the art world, and the anxieties of bringing a child into this perilous world, as Clorius did eight months ago.

“What the art world really wants is more work that expresses what is in the heart without compromise,” insists Tim Clorius. “We make art in this generation to express our fears.”


April 18, 2010
Portland Press Herald

PORTLAND, ME – Clorius has two paintings chosen for gallery in Chicago

Aucocisco Galleries announced that Portland artist Tim Clorius had two paintings juried into “Visual Narrative: Fine Art That Tells A Story,” an exhibition at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Clorius joined Aucocisco this spring and is working toward an exhibition this fall. He recently showed his work in Germany. For information, visit www.aucocisco.com.

More than Meets the Eye
by Heide Seele
The Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung Dec.2009

Intimate with art history: Tim Clorius exhibits his paintings at galerie p13 in Heidelberg, Germany
Numerous references and associations


A home game: The parents were there, a steady stream of friends and acquaintances as well as the teachers of the Kurfuerst-Friedrich-Gymnasium from which the artist, who was born in Heidelberg in 1976, graduated with his Abitur in 1995. So we couldn’t pass up the chance to interview the former art teacher about Tim Clorius. Thomas Kopp describe his former student without hesitation as idiosyncratic and creative, live-loving and willing to take risks, as well as being friendly and social. This positive impression solidified during my conversation with the confident two meter man, who settled down in the American city of Portland and received his bachelor of fine arts with honors from the Maine College of Art.

His works do not particularly match the usual concept art program of galerie p13, which is located in Heidelberg. It is hard to imagine that his art originated from the graffiti and street art scene, except for his only large format “Eva’s Bite” with the archetypal apple containing the meaningful bite, in the foreground. In this work Clorius used spray paint, thereby creating a connection to graffiti art, which he doesn’t necessarily associate entirely with type and tags. In most of the other works he shows himself influenced by tradition, especially British art from the 18th and 19th centuries( including the horse painter George Stubbs), and is working towards creating a harmonious union between this traditional interest, color field painting and minimalism. He paints with oil on linen, allowing the paint to protrude beyond the edges of the canvases and purposefully refrains from using frames. At first glance one might rather think of the meticulous approach of the old masters than of contemporary art.

The reflective artist, who demonstrates his familiarity with art history, by “shamelessly appropriating from all of it’s eras”(gallery director Kristina Hoge), prefers small and often times tiny formats. He enriches his precisely painted, mostly narrative images with quite a few historical or social references and developed a visual language, which wants to be deciphered. Even the title of his show “More than Meets the Eye” indicates that he doesn’t trust mere perception. He is fascinated by great painters like, for instance, Magritte, who’s effects and illusions inspire him, and regards the idea and its execution as equally important. He shows himself to be influenced by the romantic movement, so he might paint colorfully illuminated skies or hint towards mythology and bible, but to contemporary trends as well. This can be seen in the mail-order-bride, ordered via catalog, which stands naked and wrapped in translucent packing material (in an idyllic setting), while the buyer, dressed in historic costume, is on the telephone attempting to return her to the sender. So humor and irony play a role in this work, as do fractures in the paintings internal narrative / time relationship.

Aside from the formal and technical sophistication certain stylistic elements stand out in Tim Clorius’s work. His consciously composed, seemingly frozen “snap shots”, or the repeated use of a theater curtain take his works out of the realm of reality, by being exposed as composed scenes.

This generates a needed distance that suggests ” don’t take this too seriously, but with a little humor”, resulting in an irreal-surreal quality in many of the scenes.



Portland Press Herald: “Tank Farm Art”

The graffiti artists of Portland long ago set their sights on the tank farm of South Portland as a irresistible canvas just begging for paint. But the tanks were always out of reach, said Tim Clorius, one of Portland’s emerging public artists. -Read More


Portland Press Herald: “GPS Guides the Creation of Giant Art”

Tim Clorius, a Portland artist and founder of SUBONE, or Supplying Urban Beautification, Offering New Experiences, uses a ballfield striper to create a large version of the youth art project’s insignia on a field between Boyd Street and the Franklin Arterial on Friday. – Read More


Maine Sunday Telegram: “BIG, YET tiny”

For Tim Clorius, being in the “Tiny” show presented logistical challenges. Clorius did a series of small paintings called “Tiny Giants,” based on old black and white photos of tall men. -Read More


The Bollard: “Subone Speaks Out”

Portland graffiti artist Tim Clorius is rare among his peers in that he tends to work in broad daylight. These days, when his name makes the newspaper, it’s in the arts section, not “Police Beat.” -Read More


Maine Sunday Telegram: “Big Draw: Aerosol Art and a Wall”

Portland-area artist Tim Clorius paints a graffiti piece on a panel outside Percy Cycles in Bramhall Square on Friday. Graffiti artists painted dozens of panels on plywood, which will be auctioned to benefit Portland’s legal graffiti wall and skate park, which may include a graffiti wall. -Read More


Portland Phoenix: “Heart of the City”

There were several categories of winners at this year’s festival, including Portland’s own Tim Clorius and Andrew Coffin, collectively known as S.u.b.O.n.e. Workshops, who walked away with the People’s Choice award for Most Original. -Read More


Portland Phoenix: “Evolution Underground”

The paintings of Tim P. Clorius involve surreal landscapes of the culture industry. Traditional landscapes are beautifully rendered, but seem to be from the perspective of a passing train. His most successful works are Hieronymus Bosch-style visions of modern lifestyle. -Read More


Portland Phoenix: “Trading Spaces”

From Nicole Herz’s studies of urban architecture framed by unlikely vantage points to Tim Clorius’s wild patchworks of graffiti, sex, and advertising, mixing intimacy and anonymity to Jude O’Connor’s painterly realist portraits of the city’s human and nonhuman inhabitants, “The Urban Show” depicts the predictable chaos that constitutes urban life. -Read More