Artist Interview: Florian Thomas: Photorealism with Strokes of Abstract Expressionism

Manhattan’s Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery curates the first solo exhibit in the states for German artist, Florian Thomas

Florian Thomas: “El Centro” 2014 acrylic on canvas 19.75 x 67″

See it NOW-March 29, 2014

Where: Bernarducci.Meisel.Gallery, 37 West 57 Street, New York, NY 10019

Contact: 212.593.3757, www.bernarduccimeisel.comTwitter: @Art57Street

Interview by Kimberly Cecchini/Paintings by Florian Thomas

Tonight at Dawn (TaD): What attracted you to art? How did your work evolve to fuse abstract expressionism and photorealistic painting?

Florian Thomas:  I felt, that it (art) would be the best way for me, to say, what I have to say.

For a long time I used to paint both in coexistence. And for a long time I had the dream, the utopia, to dump the colour on the lying painting and by accident it looks like a part from the realistic world.  And now I feel coming closer to this idea.

(TaD): Why did you start collecting vintage postcards and how did you come to infuse them into your paintings?

Florian Thomas:  I have started with collecting them in the early nineties, because I was attracted by them in an obsessive way without knowing what to do with them. So in the mid nineties, when I started the realistic paintings I used to work with printed images from magazines, books, advertisements and soon I started using postcards – untouchable places of longing.

(TaD): Do you know the locations of some of the landscapes that you use?

Florian Thomas:  Yes and no. Its always fun to visit a place, which I know from a painting I have done and to paint a place I have been. But it has not really an important influence.

(TaD): I read that the abstract brushstrokes you apply to the photorealistic pieces are a reflection of how vintage postcards tend to look with age. I think the way in which the paint breaks up the realistic compositions, the strokes create movement and a bit of chaos. Any additional thoughts on it? How much of it is intentional?

Florian Thomas: I start with the abstract part without purposeful thinking by pouring the color on the lying canvas (at this stage I seldom use a brush) . After numerous layers I start the second part: searching for an image to fit in. it is often a very complex process to bring those two together.

(TaD): Name a medium that intrigues you but you are unfamiliar with it; how and why would you like to manipulate it?

Florian Thomas:  It would be great to make a movie. Possibly a road movie like a dream.

(TaD): Name a song/musician, meal, etc. that you feel would be the audio, gastronomical, etc. reflection of your work. Why?

Florian Thomas:  I feel very familiar with the movies of Jaques Tati and to name one I love the music of Django Reinhardt.

(TaD): Is there anything particularly interesting that is going on in the Munich art scene right now?

Florian Thomas:  For example we just have an impressive show of Matthew Barney’s new work.

(TaD): Share one thing about you that may be quirky or interesting.

Florian Thomas:  In summertime I use to drive a Citroen ID19 with yellow head lamps from the year 1964.

Florian Thomas: “A Four Lane Bridge,” 2011
Florian Thomas: “Menton, dismal nach Osten blick… ” 2014 acrylic on canvas 29.5 x 71.25″



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