Artist Statement: At the present time, figurative drawing and painting is the focus of most of the work that I produce. When I draw and paint figures, I am reminded that nothing in life is more important than people who are at the center of our universal concern for life. Successful figurative work, in whatever medium, must do more than merely document appearances. It must offer a deeper understanding of both the creator and the subject. I believe creating art is a process of seeing and thinking, rather than one of imitation. I have recently initiated a body of work that is developed from photographs taken from different perspectives and at different times. Using computer software (Adobe Photoshop), I isolate various elements from these photographic images and reassemble them in a collage portrait of a mythological, biblical, or historic figure. My portraits focus on a single but complex figure in a simple, flat background both for the visual effect and because it forces the viewer into an intimate dialogue with the subject. The underpinning of my work is a dynamic and complex process comprised of two interconnected suppositions regarding reality and perception. The first supposition argues that there is an objective reality but individual perception of that reality is dependent upon the lens through which we choose to look causing us to see only what we want to see or believe to be true, i.e., our perceptions obscure reality. The second supposition makes the case that there is no objective reality. When we view life through the lens of our personal experiences, values, and beliefs and then judge, classify, and sort people accordingly, we actually change who these people really are, i.e., our perceptions alter reality itself. So, when multiple persons engage someone or something, there is one subject but multiple realities. Making visual statements about this phenomenon is what my figurative work is all about.

Tom David Bill-Murray | 9 x 13 | Lithograph
Tom David Henry-Freeman | 9 x 13 | Lithograph
Tom David Haiti-Connection | 24 x 36 | Oil on Linen