Joel Thurm Biography, September 2019
Born and raised on one of the last remaining diary farms in Brooklyn, NY, Joel Thurm graduated New York’s Hunter College majoring in theater and psychology and became the worst substitute teacher in modern times. When unable to follow lesson plans, Thurm, instead, brought in his own art supplies to class and for those days, he immersed his classes in art projects.
Prior to his photography career, Thurm, now living in Los Angeles, was a top casting director. His work includes three iconic movies: Grease, Airplane!, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show and 10 years as Senior VP Talent and Casting for NBC from 1980-90.
In high school, Thurm discovered photography using his mother’s ancient bellows Kodak camera and developed his black and white negatives and printed photos in the school darkroom. On trips to India and Cuba, he rediscovered his passion for color and began to develop a unique style called “Fantastical Realism” – whereby he takes one of his original photos and then using editing tools on his iMac (and later learning a bit of Light Room) turns the photo into images that approach being impressionist paintings – full of life and color and often, humor.
After a successful showing in May, 2019 at Gallery 444 in Provincetown, one of his images, “111 Commercial Street” was exhibited in a group show at Provincetown’s art museum, PAAM. That was followed up with a sale/exhibition of his desert photographs in the gallery of the wonderful shop, Just Fabulous in Palm Springs over Labor Day weekend 2019, where many of his images sold out. Both these shows can be considered out of town tryouts for his first Los Angeles show at The Ivan Gallery, 2701 S. Robertson Blvd., L.A. 90034 from October 6 thru November 10. There will be two artist receptions - opening reception on Sunday, October 6th, and second one on Sunday, October 20th from 1 to 5 pm. Please note that this gallery is closed on Saturdays. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday from 12-5 and by appointment.