A lifelong Oregon resident currently living and working in Portland, Tharp has generated international attention for his work, with exhibitions and gallery representation in New York and Geneva, Switzerland. A selection of Tharp’s paintings recently was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, a high-profile exhibition of American contemporary artwork, often highlighting young and emerging artists. That show is put on once every two years by the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
A practitioner of several media—including ink and gouache painting, sculpture installation and clothing design—much of Tharp’s work explores themes of character and identity. Some of his acclaimed portraits—often a stylistic mixture of blotted ink and sharply defined contours—exhibit a delicate balance of realistic and abstract expression.