ART WORK/PROJECT NAME: SPIRIT FISHING
ABOUT THE ARTIST: TOM LEWIS
Tom Lewis’ art is born of early childhood obsessions with Manga, Ninjas, computer games, doodles, abstract painting and early digital imaging software. He works at the point where myths, fables, superstition and magical thinking collide with the tides of popular culture to create… what? Ambiguity, imagination and abstraction. Imperfect memory. Melancholy and whimsy. The death of the old.
Born in Birmingham in 1979, Tom left school to study art at college and went on to complete a Fine Art degree at Middlesex University. Early forays into conceptualism were shed organically in favour of a post-graduation return to his first love - painting. In 2003, Tom began producing large-scale multimedia pieces and experimenting with digital printing. The germ of an idea for his unique world of characters then emerged from a mixture of random doodling and a fascination with very weird people. He began self-publishing prints, selling them at markets and art fairs across the country, both independently and through galleries. During long hours working at an arts and crafts shop to fund his painting, these characters slowly became his obsession.
Now that he is a firmly established artist - with the spending power to purchase (and burn down for insurance purposes) his own chain of arts and crafts shops - Tom’s characters spring into life from different sources: from daydreams, mythological investigation and on-point cultural assimilation. At its centre, his work understands and exploits the seductive, disruptive power of art to shape beautiful new ideas from the fabric of everyday life. He attempts to order that which he cannot order; to make meaning where there is none, and to forge narratives for an otherwise story-less situation. For now, he likes the phrase “beautiful nonsensical meaning”.
Since 2003, Tom Lewis has exhibited in solo and group shows in London, Bath, Brighton, Birmingham and numerous other galleries nationwide. He has exhibited at international art fairs in New York, Singapore, Miami and across the UK, and opened pop-up shops in Shoreditch, Kensington, Fulham and Wimbledon. His current studio is situated on an industrial estate in sunny Tottenham, north London, where he spends his days as the physical embodiment of Jean Rostand’s assertion that, “Beauty in art is often nothing but ugliness subdued”.