Statement

By Benjamin Murphy, artist and writer

Tomas Harker is a painter who renders his subjects with a refinement and brevity of gesture. He paints both classical and contemporary imagery, originally found online; the backgrounds are sparse, and the palette conservative. 

 

The seemingly unconnected nature of his subject matter speaks of the way he encounters and collects it via the vast chasm of social media. This boundless vacuousness of the ocean of information we are barraged with online daily obscures significance through its sheer size, blinding us with information.

Heterogeneous found contemporary imagery is appropriated and repositioned, and thus given new meaning, whilst more classical themes are explored in the inverse - by obscuring their historical and cardinal significance.

He is an iconoclast who deifies the banal and degrades the iconic, in a statement of critique upon where and how we place value. His juxtaposition of highbrow with lowbrow reconfigures and ultimately destroys the hierarchical paradigms of accepted artistic subject matter, and is a considered attempt to embrace our fallibility.

Often, these juxtapositions suggest some rather piquant parallel - like the painting of the Stanford Prison Experiment placed next to the sixteen paintings of his tutors. This correlation is not serendipitous, but nor is it asserted.

 

The images are often distorted, obscuring their intrinsic significance whilst simultaneously engendering them with a more contemporary relevance. His mark-making is at times naive, at others precise, displaying a perennial interest in the often absurd contradictions inherent in one’s own self. Harker embraces these idiosyncrasies, and uses these to mirror those he sees in society, and the art world, in general. 


CV

Education

MA Painting - Royal College of Art - 2018-2020

 BA Fine Art - Leeds Arts University - 2015-2018

 

Solo Shows

Kingdom - MAZE Gallery - London 2018

Wonderland - Gosh Gallery - Newark 2015

Tomas Harker - Chapel Walk Gallery - Sheffield 2014

 

Selected Group Shows

CITE - bo.lee gallery - London 2018

Flux - Chelsea College of art - London 2017

Group Show - Arusha Gallery - Edinburgh 2017

Flux - Truman Brewery - London 2016

Curious Cabinets - Yorkshire Artspace - Sheffield 2016

Manchester Contemporary Art Fair - Manchester 2016

Art on a Postcard - Soho Revue Gallery - London 2015

Buy Art Fair - Manchester 2015

Annual show - Bank Street Arts - Sheffield 2015


Articles

April 2018 - 5 Minutes with - Noctis Magazine

March 2017 - Create Magazine

November 2016 - Aesthetica Magazine

November 2016 - Art Nouveau Magazine/Blog

October 2016 - allmagnews

October 2016 - FAD Magazine

August 2016 - Saatchi Art 'One to Watch' interview

October 2015 - Saatchi Art: 7 Essential Steps to Collecting Emerging Art  

July 2015 - British Vogue Magazine

July 2015 - Fresh Paint Magazine Article

March 2015 - 'Artist of the day' - Saatchi Art

August 2014 - Exposed Magazine