Australian artist Tom Polo uses painting and painted environments to explore how conversation, doubt, gesture, and ways of looking are embodied within abstracted acts of portraiture. His works often come from acute observations, absurdist encounters, and personal histories.
Drawing on a body of work made whilst on residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, in 2016, the debut book from Sydney artist Tom Polo says much about his distinctive, mildly idiosyncratic approach to drawing, painting and the portrait. The 48 imaginary portraits in Paris Drawings: The Most Elaborate Disguise ooze with both personality and character, their often impish visages revealing a language that proves both playful and pointed, leaning on the qualities of the naive and untaught, while also displaying an astute painterly syntax and sensibility. Featuring an essay by Justin Paton – Head Curator of International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – this book offers a lively vantage one of Australia's most intriguing young painters. Here, as with much of his broader practice, Polo subtly and poetically withholds as much as he reveals.
Tom Polo (b. 1985, Sydney, Australia) uses painting and painted environments to explore how conversation, doubt, gesture and ways of looking are embodied within abstracted acts of portraiture. Frequently incorporating text and figurative elements, his works draw on acute observations, absurdist encounters and personal histories. An ongoing interest across his practice is the emotional and performative relationships between people within social space. He has exhibited at major institutions including Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney), Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney) and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne).
80 pages, 30 x 22cm, ota bind, softcover with flaps, Perimeter Editions (Melbourne)