No statement by an artist should be read without caution. Even the most sympathetic viewer confronts the fact that statements most often measure the distance between what the artist intended and what has been achieved. Into this space the unwary artist too often puts one foot, then the other, into his or her mouth before disappearing entirely in a void of grandiose claims and hyperbolic expression. 

Bearing that in mind: 
I believe art comes from art. For this reason I have a great interest in the history of art; and in certain artists and even more specifically, certain paintings by certain artists. Part of this interest is in technique; it can be nothing more or less than understanding how an artist painted a hand or a piece of drapery. The other part of this interest is in the process of how meaning is created by the artist. And even more importantly, how that meaning changes over time.
In some ways it’s like taking an image apart to see how it works- as if it were a clock. And in the process of putting it together again, it’s meaning changes along with its appearance so that it is never quite what it started out to be. And this process is of great interest to me.

What it is to the viewer depends on their view of history. If the past is merely ‘over’ then the work will offer very little. But I think the historical past is no more ‘over’ than the personal past. What would any of us be without our memories of what has come before? And if that holds true at a personal level, by extension, does it not also hold true at a cultural and historical level?Are we not all involved in figuring out the past at some level and giving it meaning?

That’s what I’m trying to do. And because I’m an artist I do it with paint.

About Tom Lovatt

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