Tom White’s (b. 1995, United Kingdom) work revolves around the question of how the artist creates something more viscerally real than a mimetic, photorealistic representation of a person, exploring how the materiality of paint can be choreographed to portray a sense of character and the corporeal that supersedes the subject’s explicit appearance. His practice is rooted in a longstanding fascination with people and painting the figure; specifically, White is interested in the tension that exists between the painting and the sitter, how the artist captures an essence of the subject, and the phenomenological presence of sensation in painting.
Whether working on a large or smaller scale, the figures in White’s paintings are often greater than life-size. This scale lends itself to his painting process which harmonises expressive, gestural marks with more refined areas of painterly precision. Observing that every brushstroke contains a life of its own, his practice is devoted to capturing the transitory nature of a fleeting moment through his mark making. Working from his own photographs he exploits the versatility of oil paint as a medium, balancing areas of thinly veiled brushwork with impasto marks to create an emphatic sense of mood and lighting.