Tom Christopher

WORKS

ARTIST

Tom Christopher

NEW YORK – JUST LIKE I PICTURED IT.

von Stephanie Hentschel

Looking at the pictures of Tom Christopher, you see cyclists and pedestrians hurriedly attempting to thread their way through the traffic roaring daily through the city; you follow the path of taxis and buses plowing their way through the crowded streets between skyscrapers and imposing buildings – sometimes slowly, sometimes at top speed – and again and again their movement is interrupted by red lights or pedestrian crosswalks; interspersed among all that, you catch glimpses of construction workers intently concentrating on doing their work properly, in spite of the obvious chaos that is always rampant in a metropolis.

With tireless fascination, Tom Christopher sketches ever new insights into the exciting urban metropolitan life of New York. His pictures tell stories and anecdotes of individual persons, picked out of the everyday life of the big city citizens and tourists, who seem to fill the buildings and streets to the last corner as a hectic and confusing mass of people. Like short film stills, he sifts out the frequencies, stopping time for a brief moment to allow a closer look at what is happening. The ordinary everyday life of the individual is stylized into a symbol of urban life in the metropolis, with the immediate moment serving as the starting point.
Quickly, through the steep perspective and the deep street canyons, one feels as a viewer right in the middle of the restless hustle and bustle of this never-resting city.
Starting from sketches and photographs, the artist spans a construction net across the canvas with thin graphite strokes, which he colorfully covers with a bright and varied palette in expressive brushwork. The dominant use of primary colors, the mostly strongly elaborated cast shadows, and the increasingly frequent white omissions on the painting surface spark both an increased luminosity of the colors themselves and the dynamics and vibrating structure of the picture surface through their concise contrast. The splashes, light spills, and smudges of paint create a tactile surface texture, adding to the impression of spontaneity and immediate vividness of the events depicted.
Tempo and movement are the primary themes that Tom Christopher translates into his works, not only in terms of motifs but also by means of his painting. The never-ending hustle and bustle within the big city, the energetic currents that seem to emanate from it and awaken within it, provide the basis for his inspiration. Colors, sounds, movement and energy that the artist absorbs in the city streets have a direct influence on the way the paintings are elaborated and their effect on the viewer.
Fascinating, therefore, seems the recent project on Broadway, where the artist worked on his latest works in the midst of this seething cauldron, right in Times Square, in glassed-in rooms of the Brill Building, in full view of the public. From being a continuous and persistent observer of urban life, the artist himself becomes an observed object in a kind of showcase, separated from the bustle surrounding him only by thin glass. Quickly all attention is focused on him and his work and suddenly it seems like a picture within a picture, as if the artist himself becomes the center of one of his works and co-determines its field of tension in a direct way.

It is the visual impressions and fleeting moments that we capture every day and process quite unconsciously that Tom Christopher makes visible in his images and in this way simultaneously assigns them a separate meaning. Lights and colors of billboards, traffic-related sounds and fragments of conversations of passers-by, whose convergence causes the constant pulsation of the metropolis, are declared concrete image motifs in Christopher’s pictures and thus decelerated for a short time.
Over a period of years, Tom Christopher observes the changes in the city, its developments, and all the individual small factors that hold together the fabric of the greater whole while being in constant motion. In the same way that these changes never seem to end, the artist’s works move with the times of the city, acting as a mirror of this ordinary as well as extraordinary spectacle.
Inspired by the approaches and painting techniques of the Expressionists, Tom Christopher picks out the modern and contemporary themes of metropolitan New York, its textures, dynamics, and moods, and deliberately transfers these impressions to canvas in bold colors with a brisk and striking brushstroke that reflects the fleeting nature of urban life.
Short lines of text, quotes or set pieces of various conversations casually captured on the street are attached to Tom Christopher’s paintings as titles. The text sequences can be understood less as a directional title explaining the theme of the painting than as part of the artwork itself, as a kind of extended stylistic device. In this way, the artist does not give a concrete hint, but rather lets the viewer participate a bit in the inspiration and experiences he draws from the exciting and thrilling life within the metropolis. Through the short sequences, which for the most part do not make any concrete sense due to their lack of context, the core idea of Tom Christopher’s art is once again supported. Just like the fleeting images and visual impressions of the metropolis of New York, it is also the scraps of words and fragments of various conversations, on the telephone or between two passers-by, that one perceives quite unconsciously as one walks by.
In Tom Christopher’s paintings, all strands converge in the goal of painterly realization of movement, dynamics and energy of the metropolis of New York. The title of the picture, the composition, the colors and the motifs all come together to bring the pulsating, lively and diverse life of the big city on the canvas to a standstill for a brief moment.
Ultimately, a constant interplay of figuration and abstraction, movement and standstill, beauty and reality, as well as of colorful, expressive painting and narrative content appears, which seems to burst the boundaries of the canvas and concisely reflects the spatially and atmospherically boundless metropolis of New York with all its facets.

BIOGRAPHY

1952
Born in Hollywood, California

1974
Pasadena Museum of Art, Kalifornien

1976
Studied painting at Sonoma State University, California

1978
Worked for Disney in Anaheim, California

1979
Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) from Art Center College, Pasadena, California

Golden record from CBS Records for artistic design

1980
Worked at NBC Studios in Burbank, California
Exhibition design for Walter Hopps at the California Museum of Science and Industry
Drawings for Peterson Publishing
Work with William Claxton-Hot Rod and Motor Trend magazines
Editorial drawings for the LA Times

1981
Move to New York

1982
Worked for: New York Times, People, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal and as a courtroom sketch artist for CBS Network News

1983
writes essays about computer art for PC Magazine,
writes the book “MacArt Department” (published by Simon & Schuster)

1984
paints for ABC TV, on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles
paints for the jazz series of the record company Polygram Records
paints for the PBS program ” JFK – A One Man Show

1985
journalistic drawings for the Grand Prix of Las Vegas
painting for St. Elisabeth’s Hospital, Washington DC
travels for the NHL with the Red Army of the Soviet Union

1986-1997
Paintings for: New York Times, Boston Globe, Thorn EMI, Atlantic Monthly,
Bertelsmann Music Group

1988
Socrates Sculpture Park, L.I.C., Sculptors Working

1990
Kollaboration mit Richard Bellamy, Oil and Steel Gallery, Long Island City

1993
Teaches at Parsons School of Design, New York

1995
Mural commissioned by News Corp, Rockefeller Center, New York
Absolut Christopher (print advertisement for Absolut Vodka)

1997
White Male Rage curated by Charlie Finch, East Village, New York

 

1998

paints the Roseland Mural (9 x 70 m) in Times Square, New York

1999
participates in the exhibition “New, New York Views” at the Museum of the City of New York

2000
Wassermann Gallery, Munich – Streets of New York

2002
designs a snowboard collection for Burton and designs the cover for the official
City Guide of New York

2004
murals for Dassault Falcon Jet
participates in exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Trier and the Kunsthalle Darmstadt

2005
Times Square Project, installation at The Lab Gallery and Times Square Information Center, New York

2006
PRINT – exhibition together with Lichtenstein, Warhol and Ken Price: Ward Pound Ridge, Pound Ridge, New York

2007
“Metropolis” installation at the Conde Nast Building, NYC PerCent for Art Program

2008
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
J.N. Bartfield Gallery, 30 West 57th St., New York

2009
“New York is Noir Again” – A series of black and white paintings for Galerie Taménaga, Paris, and Galerie Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt, Germany

2010
Co-founder of the “Lift Trucks Project; an alternative art space” in New York
Art of the Print: Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut

2012
Mural for NYU Langone Medical Center, New York

2013
Greg Hubert Gallery, Madison Ave, NYC, City Abstracted

2014
Brill Building Project, Live in Times Square

2016
Paseo Caribe Mural Project, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2017
Montefiore Medical Center Virtual Reality Project, The Bronx, New York

2020
Exhibitions at Taménaga Gallery (Paris) and Laverdin Fine Arts Gallery (445 Park Avenue New York)
Group exhibition at the New York Historical Society and Asia Society Museum

2021
Watch cover design for the watch manufacturer Ikepod (Tom Christopher x Ikepod)

EXHIBITIONS

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020s

2022
Taménaga Gallery, Paris
Magic’s Back in the Air, Lab Gallery, New York City
Massachussetts Insitute of Technoogy Horizon Program for Virtual Reality

2021
Barbara von Stechow Gallery
New Art Association Aschaffenburg “Big City Symphony”
“Dreaming Together” New York Historical Society and Asia Society Museum

2020
Taménaga Gallery, Paris (Summer Exhibit)
“Life Before a Pandemic,” Laverdin Fine Arts Gallery, 445 Park Avenue New York

 

2010s

2019
“The Future is Immersive,” Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Manhattan, New York
“The New Yorkers” Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany

2017
Taménaga Gallery, Paris
City of Lights and Shadow, Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany
Art Miami (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2016
Art New York (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
CONTEXT Art Miami (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2015
Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt

2014
Something About New York City, Gallery Taménaga, Paris
BRAFA, Brussels (Galerie Taménaga, Paris).
“New York. Just like I pictured it.”, Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt
Art.Fair, Cologne (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)
Art 14 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2013
Greg Hubert Gallery, New York
Art.Fair, Cologne (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Art 13 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2012        
Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt
Art.Fair, Cologne (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)
Art 12 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2011        
Gallery Taménaga, Paris
35 Years of Printmaking, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut
Greg Hubert Gallery, New York
Art 11 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2010
Gallery Taménaga, Paris and Osaka
art KARLSRUHE (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Gallery Barbara von Stechow as guest at Gallery Vömel, Düsseldorf
art 10 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2000s

2021
New Aschaffenburg Art Association “Big City Symphony”
“Dreaming Together” New York Historical Society and Asia Society Museum

2020
Galerie Taménaga, Paris (Summer Exhibit)
“Life Before a Pandemic,” Laverdin Fine Arts Gallery, 445 Park Avenue New York

2019
“The Future is Immersive,” Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Manhattan, New York
“The New Yorkers” Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany

2017
Taménaga Gallery, Paris
City of Lights and Shadow, Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany
Art Miami (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2016
Art New York (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
CONTEXT Art Miami (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2015
Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt

2014
Something About New York City, Gallery Taménaga, Paris
BRAFA, Brussels (Galerie Taménaga, Paris).
“New York. Just like I pictured it.”, Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt
Art.Fair, Cologne (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)
Art 14 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2013
Greg Hubert Gallery, New York
Art.Fair, Cologne (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Art 13 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2012        
Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt
Art.Fair, Cologne (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)
Art 12 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2011        
Gallery Taménaga, Paris
35 Years of Printmaking, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut
Greg Hubert Gallery, New York
Art 11 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

2010
Gallery Taménaga, Paris and Osaka
art KARLSRUHE (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Gallery Barbara von Stechow as guest at Gallery Vömel, Düsseldorf
art 10 Zurich (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)

2009  
palmbeach3 (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)
art KARLSRUHE (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Lift Trucks Project, Croton Falls, New York
Gallery Taménaga, Paris
Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt

2008
palmbeach3 (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
art KARLSRUHE (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
J.N. Bartfield Gallery, New York
Art Miami (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Pavillon des Arts et du Design, Paris (Galerie Taménaga, Paris)

2007
palmbeach3 (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt
art KARLSRUHE (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Conde Nast Building, NYC Percent for Art Commission, New York
Gallery Mada Primavesi, Madrid
Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon
Taménaga Gallery, Tokyo and Osaka

2006  
palmbeach3 (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Taménaga Gallery, Paris
PRINT – Andy Warhol, Ken Price, Tom Christopher – Gallery in the Park, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, New York
Art 06 Zurich (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Pavillon des Antiquaires, Paris (Galerie Taménaga, Paris)
Salon Comparaison, Grand Palais, Paris (Galerie Taménaga, Paris)
Taménaga Gallery, Paris
23rd Spring Show, Ozoire la Ferrière (Galerie Taménaga, Paris)

2005 
Gallery David Findlay, New York
Art Cologne (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Art Karlsruhe (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Art Frankfurt (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Interpreting Times Square, Lab Gallery, New York
Interpreting Times Square, Times Square Information Centre, New York
Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt
Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain (FIAC), Paris (Galerie Taménaga, Paris)
Pavillon des Antiquaires, Paris (Galerie Taménaga, Paris)

2004
Gallery Barbara von Stechow as guest in the Gallery Vömel, Düsseldorf
ART Frankfurt (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)
Gallery Taménaga, Paris
At the Crossroad of Desire, AXA Gallery, New York
Pavillon des Antiquaires, Paris (Galerie Taménaga, Paris)
New Views: Modern NY Cityscapes, The New York Historical Society Museum, New York

2003
Art 03 Zurich (Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt)
ART Frankfurt (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt
Gallery Taménaga, Paris
Art Cologne (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Pavillon des Antiquaires, Paris (Gallery Taménaga, Paris)

2002
Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt
ART Frankfurt (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
European Academy of Art, Spectrum Art Landscape, Art Gallery, Trier
Gallery David Findlay, New York

2001
ART Frankfurt (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Art Gallery Darmstadt
Gallery Taménaga, Paris
Gallery Taménaga, Osaka
City Rythms, Pelham Art Center, New York
Art for a Day, Museum of the City of New York to benefit the Tower Relief Funds for New York City

2000
Gallery David Findlay, New York
ART Frankfurt (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)
Art Cologne (Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt)

1990er

1999
Galerie Taménaga, Paris und Osaka
Galerie Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt
Neue, New Yorker Ansichten, Museum der Stadt New York

1998
David Findlay Galerie, New York

1997
David Findlay Galerie, New York
Galerie Taménaga, Osaka, Japan

1996
Galerie 258, Beverly Hills
Michael Owen Galerie, New York
Th. R. Reynolds Bildende Kunst, San Francisco

1993/94
Taménaga Galerie, New York, NY

1991 
Richard Iri Galerie, Los Angeles
Lee Sclar Galerie, Morristown, New Jersey
Jensen Perez Galerie, San Antonio

1990  
Chaffey Art Association im Ontario Museum of Art, Kalifornien

COLLECTIONS

Works by Tom Christopher are in private collections among others in the UK, in Belgium, in France, in Germany, the USA, Japan, Italy and Switzerland.

Absolute Vodka

ADAC Deutschland, München

Allied Irish Bank, PLC

Andreas Krone GmbH

Bertelsmann Music Group, New York

Burda Group, NY, USA

Büro des Oberbürgermeisters der Stadt New York

The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

CBS Inc., New York – The Ford Motor Corporation, Detroit

Chelsea Murals, London Terrace Gardens, New York

Dassault Falcon Jet, USA

ESPRIT International, US Embassy, Malawi, Afrika

Fondation Colas, Paris

Goldman Sachs & Co. OHG, Frankfurt

Goldman Sachs & Co., New York

Heineken, Niederlande

HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt, Düsseldorf

The Hechinger Collection, Museum Washington D.C.

Heraeus Holding, Hanau

Indianapolis Ballet and Opera Association, Indiana, USA

Meeschart Géstion Privée, Paris

Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

Mrs Laura Bush, Washington DC.

Museum der Stadt New York

NewsCorp Murals, Rockefeller Center, New York

The Ford Motor Corporation, Detroit

The Hechinger Collection, National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.

The Museum of the City of New York, New York

The New York Times, Inc.

The New York Historical Society Museum, New York

NewsCorp Building (Rupert Murdoch Inc.) at Rockefeller Center, New York

Pfizer, New York

Shearman & Sterling, Frankfurt

Time Warner Inc., New York

Vin och Sprithistorika Museum, Stockholm

Wallrich Asset Management AG, Frankfurt