Artist Statement


My paintings explore the relationship between environment, psyche, and balance. Environment is characterized by any tangible force affecting an individual’s physical and/or conscious/unconscious self. Hard-edged monochromatic grids framed by neutral grays depict this. Psyche is represented by the lyrically ornate, amalgamated black and white imagery. Compositionally, these disparate elements attempt to develop a sense of harmony and poise.   Upon further examination, one recognizes that the environment is slightly off-kilter, positioning the psyche to seek balance. By amassing and manipulating accessories of perceived value, like positioning weights on a scale, a remedy is sought. For many, these accessories have become comforts of consolation, small vices that enable us to rationalize and navigate within our contingent world.

My formal investigations focus on three primary concerns: subtleties of hue, visual activity, and pareidolia (psychically charged imagery). I attempt to optically animate each composition by combining these elements pictorially. This effect varies from piece to piece, ranging from readily apparent to something quite subtle. 


Artist Statement


Tommy White, born in Detroit, received his M.F.A. from Clemson University in the discipline of painting and a B.A. from Michigan State University in ceramics. His work is included in many private collections as well as the permanent collections of the Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama, Crayola Corporation, and Capital One Corporation. He has exhibited in over twenty states, the District of Columbia, Melbourne, Australia, and Seoul, South Korea. After working in higher education for nearly two decades, Tommy recently refocused his attention to his professional practice and enjoys working in his studio located in Denver, Colorado.

Image Top Left

Old Kings, 2015

graphite and acrylic on panel

58” x 38”

  Tommy White Copyright 1993 - 2018

“The exuberant abstractions of...Tommy White, composed of diverse forms arrayed in rhythmic counterpoint across and around the picture plane, have their source in a vision that manifests what can only be called a childlike sophistication. They subtly depend on a kind of syntax of shapes, as if the linear fragments and burgeoning silhouettes – posed against one another like collage elements but not allowed to touch – were pictograms in hieroglyphic tablets. White’s paintings effervesce with a doubled animation, an animation you can imagine projected on a screen and an animation you can feel percolating throughout life itself. White’s carefully reasoned and yet thoroughly ingratiating paintings aren’t the kind of abstractions your kid could do; they’re the kind of abstractions your kid should do.” 

    ~ Peter Frank  

Senior Curator, Riverside Art Museum, California

and Critic, Huffington Post

above editorial appeared in Fabrik Magazine