Today we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Buildmore.
Thomas, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in 1978. I became interested in visual art at a very early age. My family is filled with creative people. I was surrounded with a superabundance of art materials, and musical instruments and equipment as well. In 1989, I saw a documentary on PBS television called “Style Wars.” It inspired my interest in graffiti painting.
I began painting heavy between 1993-1994 and have continued ever since. My fascination with graffiti was the impetus that fueled my thirst for knowledge of art history, tradecraft, art materials, and methods and technology.
The 1990s were very confusing years for me. They were mostly a blur. But I came out on the other side, and in 2001 found myself attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts’ Studio Art Program in Boston. After graduation, I traveled around Europe with my partner at the time who had received a grant to do a project in London. When I returned to the U.S., I began my fine art career, painting graffiti, and fine art paintings. My graffiti paintings and fine art paintings inform one another. They are vital to each another. When I recognized this aspect of my art, things started to click.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My work in my studio practice is thoroughly thought out until it becomes instinctive to my process. In turn, graffiti writing I think of my practice as “Trade Craft.” Ideas develop from a concept and experimentation, then executed.
If I am asked if my work has a message or a meaning, I suppose it may describe the party scene at the end of Disney’s “Pinocchio.”
My art practice, like that of many other artists, is deeply personal to me and is, at times, for myself alone. Sometimes, creating art feels truly brutal, mentally. In making art, I don’t care about success or becoming known. Art is something I have always done. I don’t make art to get attention. I’m a private person. I am a loner. My work speaks for itself.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
My biggest challenge to making art today is what it is for many artists: The Internet, the internet and globalization can feel intimidating, overwhelming, too intense. At times, it seems to me like an exaggerated, extreme version of the Benjamin/Adorno debate.
There is a sense that art on the internet is there to generate “likes” instead of ideas. However, I recognize the internet’s power to transform lives and to reach people who don’t have access to the museums and creative communities of major cities. It is cool that someone living in the middle of “nowhere” in the world can now have a world-career in the arts remotely. This is very powerful. It is a very wonderful thing.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I am represented by the Woodward Gallery on Eldridge Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. My work is currently part of their Fall Show called “ICONIC.” This is an exciting show for me because John, the director of the space, thinks deeply about the artists he shows together. He sees the influences I am often referencing without my having to explain it to him. I recently completed eight rooms at Studio Allston, and hope to be able to continue to contribute to that project.
- Website: www.thomasbuildmore.com https://woodwardgallery.net/artists/thomas-buildmore/
- Instagram: @buildsy
- Facebook: Thomas buildmore
“Painting in the style of Andrew Wyeth” 2017 57×73.5 spray paint on canvas, “painting int the style of Phillip Guston” 2017 40×40 spray paint on canvas, “painting in the style of Gustav Klimt” 2014 40×60 spray paint on canvas, “Thom” 2018 dimensions variable spray paint on wall. me and Nana photo @nam99lee.