Tom French biography in Biographies from the artzine on artrepublic.com
Tom French’s works are predominantly figurative. He carefully combines detailed photorealism with strong elements of abstraction and surrealism, focusing on the reflection of the conscious and subconscious mind.
Born in 1982, Tom French grew up in Newcastle Upon Tyne, North East England. The son of an artist, he grew up visiting galleries, painting, drawing, and getting lost in comic books. He began his studies at the Newcastle School of Art and Design and went on to graduate from the Sheffield Institute of Art and Design achieving a first class BA Honors in 2005.
French's work often treads the fine line between the beautiful and unsettling, combining technically tight, classical charcoal drawings with carefree, loose and ostensibly unfinished abstract forms. By fusing the technical with lively abstraction French brings life and movement to his compositions. His work seamlessly merges the use of academic tradition with contemporary urban realism.
French's preferred medium is charcoal, but it is frequently enhanced through acrylic, ink, and spray paint elements, as well as gold leafing and collaged paper additions. His palette is characteristically black and white. This monochromatic aesthetic creates images that are powerful and raw and embody a timeless quality. “There’s something special about the simplicity of only using light and dark without colour and, though I’m by no means minimalist, I do like the purity of this,” explained French in our artist interview.
He absorbs himself in all things visual, filling his shelves with books and magazines and enjoying a daily blog drawl. French believes a good range of reference points helps to keep his work interesting and relevant on various levels.
Tom French has had solo exhibitions in both the UK and the US. His solo exhibition ‘FLUX’ at our sister gallery Lawrence Alkin Gallery in 2014 was extended by popular demand and sold out. His work has been exhibited at the London Art Fair and Scope in New York and Miami Beach. In 2013 his work featured on the front page ‘Los Angeles Where’ magazine and in ‘Upstart’ magazine. He also created the stunning cover artwork for the release of the soundtrack to the cult movie ‘Donnie Darko’.
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