Artist Statement


    While it is impossible to remove myself from previous explorations regarding the practice of painting, my most recent trajectory is directly linked to some of my earliest attempts. In the summer of 2007, my mother presented me with a file containing several of my old drawings. These pictures, created between the ages of four and five, were mostly drawn on construction paper with crayons and ballpoint pens. This childhood packet has acted as a springboard informing line, shape, and palette.

    Today, I get great pleasure from "working" in the studio and the notion of play is systemic, attributed to my youth.  Yet much of my practice wrestles with visual language and the inherent conversation of working with self-imposed limits and material parameters.  For me, the act of drawing is physical and reactive, resulting in deliberately loose and decorative forms, many of which exhibit levels of pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus. These forms are contained by monochromatic and off-kilter grids, allowing the drawn imagery to become slightly animated against the rigid, unstable ground.  Merging the lyrical with geometric, allows for an enhanced sense of each. 

    My personal connection to any particular piece presents itself through associations of imagery and memory, an optimistic dialogue during the creative process.  And from this, content is gathered through experiences of semiotic drift relating to elements from my past as well as my contingent world.  My hope for the work is to have an audience not only examine the formal dynamics of the paintings, but to subtly provoke memories, allowing for tangible psychologies to surface and heighten each individual viewer’s experiences.     


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 new studio located in Denver, Colorado.

Image Top Left

Conversation isn’t Combat

2010, acrylic on panel

40” x 60”

  Tommy White Copyright 1993 - 2015