Cali Thornhill Dewitt (born 1973, Vancouver Islands, Canada) lives and works in Los
Angeles as a multidisciplinary artist and eclectic instigator.
Dewitt’s practice reflects and comments on a complex and fragmented world and
existence, but instead of fostering first world apathy or nihilism, it induces curiosity,
defiance and thought.
Following in traditions of Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, and Ed Ruscha, Thornhill DeWitt’s
works, zines, prints, photographs, music videos and sweatshirts often pair provocative
imagery culled from the internet with word plays lifted from news headlines, spam mail,
advertising slogans, street lingo, mundane phrases and a myriad of other influences.
Inspired by the direct images that flood today’s media, especially social media, he has
paired bouquets of roses with the words “TIME RUNS OUT” or “GLORY HOLE” with
images of bullet holes. Thornhill Dewitt’s unexpected juxtapositions offer a social critique
using the universally understood language of mass communication.
Recent and ongoing collaborations include Varg (album covers) Kanye West (Pablo
World), Iceage (videos, album covers), A Four Labs (two collections), Someware (a
collaboration with artist Brendan Fowler) and numerous projects with Haruka Hirata of Big
Throughout his career, Dewitt has been a driving force in popular taste. Among countless
brand collaborations, his famed merchandise for Kanye West’s Life of Pablo has been a
leading force of contemporary Goth revival in both art and fashion, from alternative
labels to high-street stores. Thus, Dewitt’s harsh critique of consumer-culture is a
subversive social activism: his brash punk-poetry disseminated across the globe in the
criss-crossing worlds of art, fashion, music, and celebrity culture.
Dewitt’s work is incredibly current, both in form and content. His eye-catching
compositions and cut-and-paste aesthetic, imitate the punchlines of contemporary meme
culture. In addition, Dewitt confronts many issues, such as mental health and the
environmental crisis, that have long been urgent but only in recent years have garnered
significant public attention. Thus, Dewitt’s practice captures the essence of the millennial
generation: an acute social awareness driven by a dissatisfaction with the inequalities and
self-sabotaging tendencies of the human race. Yet, through his deeply critical and
thoughtful work, Dewitt presents—ironically—a promising form of hope and optimism: a
sentiment suggesting that if we are prepared to learn from the worst of the world, then
there is endless potential to change it.