I am fascinated and inspired by great works of historic art and often make references to favourite masterpieces in my paintings. I enjoy placing historic images in a new context thus bringing past and present together in a new interpretation and paying homage to art works I admire.
After fifteen years working as a designer of theatrical productions I returned to my first love, painting. For many years still life painting was the foundation of my work. About ten years ago I began introducing references to historic art works on books placed in a still life. Then I expanded these references to include unwrapped images of historic paintings and objects, and trompe l’oeil sketches of famous masterpieces. Sometimes I take a portrait, enlarge it and change the context. Further developments include fractured portraits, landscapes and still lives. To create these first I cut upphotos of the image to make a photo collage which becomes the sketch for the painting. As the painting develops more changes are made to the original image. The multiple viewpoints and shifting planes add an element of movement to the original, static image. This process is similar to the way classical and jazz musicians make variations on an old melody to create a new composition.
Changing the context of historic images invites the viewer to see them in anew way. In my designs for theatre I created contemporary visual interpretations for old stories and legends. Now as I unite past and present in my paintings I hope to encourage the viewer to contemplate the rich artistic heritage which is a vital part of our shared human experience.
EXCLUSIVE WORK BY TOM MILLER: