Thomas Broome Interview
Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from and what do you do?
I am an artist currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. I am a daddy to a wonderful boy and married since 12 years now. I am also blessed with having a quite successful carrier, so life is good. But since I am from the northern part of Europe I have got Jante riding on my shoulders telling me that I shall not think high of myself. What can I say it is a strange culture? But it makes me work in a constant flux hurling between the extremes in life with an intention to cut down the peeks and fill in the valleys. My work is very closely connected to the dualities in everyday life with a twist towards the fantastic.
How would you personally describe your style of work?
Your recent works entitled Modern Mantra, are some of my favourite and actually how I first heard about your work, can you describe the influences behind this work?
This series had its origins in a very old drawing which I made on one of my art schools, I guess that it is about fifteen years old now. This drawing was a direct result from some lessons in sketching from live model. At one point I grew fed up with the rules and began to write the model. This was not at all appreciated by my teacher. But later that night I made a drawing of a room in which I built the interior by writing it. Usually my work takes a lot of time from the first idea to the finished pieces, but this is the extreme, I think that it took me about 15 years from the first sketch to the pieces that I have shown last year. Of course I have not worked on it daily, but this is the way that I do things: letting them grow in the mind until they are ready to be materialized. Usually this takes a couple of years and not this long. But I am very happy with the result, so in this case, maybe the idea had to wait for me to be ready.
You recently, just this year infact, showed in NYC, do you see big differences in modern art in Europe and America? Not just in the work itself, but how the art world is run and perceived?
I guess that the art scene is the big difference between the two. In America, from my experience, the art is driven forward by patrons and by a commercial market. But in Sweden where I come from the big players are the institutions and the state that gives you money to work. The commercial scene here is much smaller and not able to uphold an industry like the NYC scene. There are problems with both models. In my point of view it is very problematic being judged almost solely by your peers, as is the case in Sweden. This almost always leads to an elitist way of looking at art. On the other hand there is very big problem with trusting only in the market, since it has a tendency to flatten things out.
Growing up, who were your favourite artists? and why?
I grew up in a small community with little or no interest in art. But my best friend and I used to go to Denmark and Louisiana to look at big art exhibitions. They showed among others Andy Warhol and also Salvador Dali. For me these two where the first encounter with art and all that it can be. Later on I also became interested in the late 80s artists from Germany such as Bazelits, Trockel, Kippenberger and Kiefer
Who are your favourite artists and designers today?
I am very influenced by the special effects industry and their way of working. But For me it is very important to make the sculptures pass in real life and not in the limited flat format of the screen. Currently I am also looking into the renaissance and baroque artists, trying to learn from their human touch. And I also must take the opportunity to mention one of my colleagues that I really respect: Damien Hirst. I know that a lot of people think that he is a sell out. But who cares, he is good at it.
Whats next for you, what are you currently working on?
I am right now working with three big sculptural pieces. One is a commission for a town square (which is really cool). The other is for the world heritage museum and the last one is a tribute to my sadly deceased friend Ola Pehrson (who by the way is also an artist I respected a lot). I am also doing some portraits and getting ready to start working on my next gallery shows in 2008.
All of the images used in this feature come via Thomas Broome, where you can see more of his work.