Tom Prochaska

Symposium Leader

My work continues to be connected to the human form and psyche. The figure is my point of reference—whether the source is my diary, my memory, my fantasy, or drawn from life. That point-of-view, tied to an intense concern for composition and formal language, is exercised in my sketchbooks. I draw daily and keep journals. Those drawings are the beginnings, the primers for all my work. Figurative and formal concerns are the content of my prints, paintings, and drawings. More often than not, I begin the work as a discovery of intentions and aspirations, without a direction or subject. I hope to discover what I care about, what is hiding, what will surprise me. If I begin with intentions, subjects, or comments, I end up disappointed and fall short of the task. By letting go, I hope to conjure up a little visual miracle. As free and open as that sounds, I know I’m tied to the spirit of Goya, James Ensor, Callot, and the compositions of Courbet and Manet. I have looked at art, taught and educated myself. In my early searches, while living in Georgia, the figure was more that of an animal: a dog or a pig. Perhaps I fancied my friends and myself as primitive, raw forces. As the years progress, the figure has matured into a more complete, complex being. Now it dances through relationships, introspection, violence, guilt, and fear. As my experiences, craft, composition, and formal qualities have matured, I hope (and I know) that the figurative surprises and little miracles have grown older, stranger, and richer.


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