Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hump Day Artist: Tom McGrath

This week's Hump Day Artist is Tom McGrath.  Tom McGrath was the Artist-in-Residence when I was at UT Knoxville.  McGrath was the first "real" artist I ever met.  He lived in New York, he had gallery representation, and he knew everything.  Or it seemed like he did.  Listening to him talk was so overwhelming.  He introduced me to hundreds of artists that I had never heard of, who still heavily influence my work.  I remember he went to New York one week for a solo show.  When he came back he told us that he had sold every painting in the show.  I was completely amazed.  It was so inspirational to learn from an artist who was playing the game, and playing it well.

The painting above is one that Tom McGrath was working on while at UT.  Seeing how other artists work is really thrilling.  It's incredible to see something slowly evolve from wood and canvas to this beautiful object.  Tom McGrath work is incredible and I still look at it often, but more influential for me was his lifestyle and his practice.

I used to dream of picking up and moving to New York and being a big shot artist.  I've come to realize that that is not for me.  I'd much rather contribute to a growing art scene, than get lost in a sea of artists trying to hit the big time.  However, there is so much to learn from artists who actually make it.  Studying their work, reading their interviews and artists statements, and seeing how they work is vital for a growing artist.

Oh, and did I mention that his work is phenomenal?

To see more of Tom McGrath's work, go to

All images from

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