keel Billed Toucan by Tom Lewis
keel Billed Toucan by Tom Lewis
Size: 30cm x 30cm
Framed Size: 410 x 410 mm
Edition: Edition of 250
Print: 330gsm 100% cotton rag archival paper
Collection: Neon Beasts
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keel Billed Toucan by Tom Lewis
From Tom’s Neon Beasts series, print comes conservation framed in a 40mm Black Lacquered Moulding with matching Neon Slip and Reflection Control Art Glass, also available in White Lacquered Frame.
My recent paintings come at a time when I am just beginning to understand where my work comes from. Working my way from understanding to explanation is complicated.
Feeling as though I have been handed a puzzle, tens of thousands of years old, but the box is so faded that I can’t make out the picture on the front. I get a vague sense that the shapes fit together and seeing as though I’m here and have just made a brew. I might as well shuffle the bits around. Every now and then, with a sense of almost hallucinogenic clarity and butterflies in my stomach, two pieces slot together.
My dissertation at university was called something like ‘the limits of the human’ and, rather lamely, attempted to explore what might lie beyond the limits of human consciousness and if such a thing existed, how one might access such experience. This was a thought that fascinated me and the sense that I could in some way feel the confines of my biological humanity led me to explore ideas of the sublime, the nature of being and truth.
All the metaphysical good stuff
That line of exploration felt like it stopped after uni, and I went back to painting pictures that made me laugh, or moved me in some way that I found difficult to explain. The effectiveness of these pictures was related, amongst other things, to the stories that they told. The ‘better’ the story, the ‘better’ the painting. ‘Better’ is somewhat ambiguous, but I had a sense of what it meant so, like the puzzle, I just tried to keep piecing bits together.
Somewhat surprisingly, as it turns out, what felt right is some sort of archetypal representation of the nature of being, and a fairly well trodden description of a specific type of action within that territory.
I say fairly well recognised
It appears that I have been unconsciously exploring the same tales that parts of humanity have been telling themselves for thousands of years. Perhaps something like automatic storytelling? Recognisable from the earliest known Sumerian creation myths, through the Bible, and on to Star Wars, Harry Potter and beyond.
It is interesting how the function of story may have changed throughout that time, and how our respective societies recognise the nature of an authoritative narrative. Can the societal rate of change outpace these historical metaphysical explorations, or will they prove timelessly attached to the essence of our humanity? Social media has given everyone the power to tell their own story. But has it also helped people lose sight of why they are telling it?
Think I am trying to tell stories about telling stories, which is perhaps why I’m hesitant to pin Megan down to a single narrative. She’s not really a person, she’s more what a person does, or at least, could do. She is the embodiment of the idealised state of perpetual becoming. Oh…..She’s a hero. TOM LEWIS Pixel pest, paint pirate, pencil pervert.
About The Artist
Tom originates from Birmingham and sees himself as a master of Pencil Wizardry and Mouse Mastery…whatever that means ?…well actually, it means his work as an illustrator with a very unique narrative, heralds him an artist by his own description art with “Beautiful nonsensical meaning”
After bypassing his A levels, he went on to attend Middlesex university to study Fine Art and obtained his much desired and deserved degree. His work is best described as an attempt to bring “Order to that which cannot be ordered” or to create “ Meaning where there is none” and to provide “Narrative to an otherwise storyless situation”
Random doodling and a fascination for weird people, ignite Tom’s imagination and often , he finds himself laughing out loud ….such are those random moments , that these characters find themselves at the forefront of his paintings. Many of the subject matters came from his time spent as a part time work experience in an Arts and Crafts shop, which helped fund his painting habit. The backgrounds behind each character helps form part of each epic story that lives in Toms head, which constantly evolve.
Tom is presently working as an artist and illustrator in the east end of London. Tom works with a variety of techniques and processes to achieve the end result, be it a Giclee print, canvas or digital file. Usually starting with a pencil, he uses marker pens, biros, acrylic paint, aerosol cans, airbrushes, varnish, cardboard, digital camera, computer and fingers. Though not necessarily in that order.
This is the world created by Tom Lewis. Blending elements of ancient mythology, traditional oriental design and contemporary street art, his style is unique and instantly recognisable. Each piece adds to the epic patchwork narrative that exists inside Tom’s head, tip toeing the line between logical meaning and beautiful nonsensical chaos.
Tom’s paintings and prints have been exhibited worldwide including Hong Kong and New York. Following an exciting, if surreal appearance on The Young Apprentice in 2010, his exceptional works earned appreciation from a rapidly expanding fan base.
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