Andrew Thomas Lopez
American, born 1983, San Antonio, Texas
Lives in Chicago, Illinois
Photographer Andrew Thomas Lopez created Thumbs Up and the works in his series This Means Something in reaction to his son’s autism diagnosis. As his son, who was nonverbal at the time, made attempts to express himself through interactions with toys and objects, Lopez began to document these creations, which he considers collaborations. For this particular image, Lopez and his son were playing with stickers. When Lopez’s son came across a colorful page of thumbs up stickers, he made a thumbs up gesture which Lopez mimicked. After Lopez closed his fist, his son began to meticulously arrange stickers down Lopez’s arm. Once complete, his son exclaimed, “Make a picture? Daddy is making pictures.” The two posed in an embrace for Thumbs Up, their first collaborative image.
An Akron native, Lopez earned his BFA at the Myers School of Art at the University of Akron. “The arts community, including the Akron Art Museum and colleagues in Summit county, were my first experiences with the arts, and have been a great influence in my life. Some of my closest supporters continue to be from the area, and I always feel welcome during my frequent visits,” remarks Lopez. Lopez earned his MFA at Columbia College in Chicago, where he now resides. To view more of his photography, visit: andrewthomaslopez.com