Philip: You work in a variety of media. Do you see common threads or themes when you move between drawing, painting, sculpture, and constructions?
Tom: I work in series and am very procedural, so each piece of work starts independently of the other. I would like to believe each medium eventually peaks into one thing.
Philip: What are you working on at the moment?
Tom: I am currently working on two series of work, plus another project. The first is a series of wood mosaics called “Twins” that I have created over the past 5 years.
They are mirror images of each other. The mosaics are all composed from natural woods, triple glued to a quality plywood base. They are cleat-hung and stand about two inches from the wall. They are totally flat with only a slight curvature to the eyes.
The second series is “After Apnea”. These panels are oil and charcoal on two sheets of 30" x 44" bfk Rives drawing paper. They are executed over portraits that I have drawn on both sides. Some of the old drawings stick out in places. The final size of each piece is approximately 30" x 84". Apnea, former “Suicide Girl” and internet sensation, is given a credit on each piece. There are ten pieces in total.
I am also working on a project called “Make Believe”. This is a competition for the Wicker Park/Bucktown Chamber of Commerce to create public art in unrented storefronts in the neighborhood.
Philip: You've curated many exhibitions, both in Chicago and across the USA. How did you become involved in the world of curating and organizing shows?
Tom: I was drafted into the presidency of the Chicago Furniture Design Association in 1984, and I never looked back.
Philip: Which show that you organized are you particularly proud of?
Tom: The Chicago Art Open - 1999.
Philip: You've recently moved to a large studio and gallery space on North Avenue. What are your plans for the gallery?
Tom: I have just signed a 5 year lease. I'm hoping for better economic times so I can develop a regular exhibition schedule. I would like to specialize in shows related to drawing.
Philip: Could you say something about the current show in the gallery?
Tom: It's a show of drawings related to the figure called 'Drawing Attention'. All the work in the show was made by artists attending the weekly life-drawing session here, and it shows a wide range of drawn and painted responses to the figure.
'Drawing Attention' is showing at the Tom Robinson Studio/Gallery, 2416 West North Avenue, Chicago, until June 26th