Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Paint, Paper and Fiber - Tom Dimond and Terry Jarrard-Dimond - Part II

Trinity V2 - Tom Dimond - 1997
30" x 22" - mixed media

I have known Tom Dimond since I was a senior student in college.  I have watched his work develop and how he can mine the gold of his ideas.  His sense of composition and eye for color are exceptional.  Tom is a fine artist and he is also my partner in life.

Looking at this tiny sampling of his work I am struck by the depth of information contained in each work and what a beautiful flow there is between each piece.  There are strong and continuous lines of exploration that run from our first meeting through today.  

Perhaps the strongest of those ongoing explorations is his love of geometric abstraction.  If all a viewer knew about his work was his current work they might be surprised by that statement as his work has broadened and softened recently.  However, the understructure of all of his work, the foundation of all of his work is firmly geometric and abstract in nature.

Trinity V2 is the oldest piece in this group and the bones of the painting are very clear.  If you click on the image to enlarge you will see the complex pattern of circles.  This is a structure he has used as a format for many years.  While it serves as an "actual framework" I have always thought of it as a way for him to get into the work as drawing all of that structure takes many hours.  These hours are ripe for contemplation and meditation.

Trinity V2 - Tom Dimond - detail - 1997
30" x 22" - mixed media

If you have ever taken an art history class or read art history you know how the study of an artist or a specific work by an artist can reveal mountains of information the casual viewer will never see or understand for what is "really" in the art.

Two examples of that type of content are revealed in Trinity V2.  The cherries (in life they are air freshners) refer to a famous work by Kurt Schwitters and The Cherry Picture.  In addition to the use of the cherries, Trinity V2  uses collage which is a process Schwitters is famous for using.

The other reference is the geometric element at the top which is a stellated dodecahedron.  Tom was on a trip to Italy and saw this figure in a tile floor by Paolo Ucello in St. Mark's Cathedral.  Tom has used this form not only as an element in paintings and collages but has constructed entire paintings on frames which go together as this geometric form.

S.H.I.E.L.D. - Tom Dimond - 2013
30" x 22" - mixed media

S.H.I.E.L.D. is a collage painting.  I use the double term as there is about a 50-50 mix of paint and collage materials.  The beautiful and serene symmetry which Tom often uses is very present and the large black form draws you in. As you approach the work for closer inspection you see that hiding under paint and thick layers of mediums and papers are other possibly more familiar and recognizable images.  Spend some time looking at the large black element.  Put it together in your mind.  What is it?  I'll share that later on but hiding under the paint are panels from comic books.  

Each panel from the comics has had the text removed and parts of the images are obscured.  You are ask to "fill in the blank".  What is the story"  Is there a story?  Is it enough to enjoy the relationships of the images, marks, textures, colors?  For me the answer is absolutely.  That is one of the joys of contemporary art.  Tom is and has been a fan of comic art for his entire life.  He knows all of the classic characters and more importantly he knows the artists who created them and brought them to life.  Their inclusion in his work is not a hollow exercise.  These images are part of his creative body of knowledge, his art vocabulary.

Reaching Out - Tom Dimond - 2013
30" x 22" - mixed media

Reaching Out was created during the same time span as S.H.I.E.L.D.   You likely recognize the black element from Shield only in a different configuration.  These look like little faces staring with their big eyes and smiling or frowning.  Have you figured it out.  Tom walks and during his walks he became aware of small metal disks on the street that had been mashed.  He has a little jar filled with them.  They are the metal end caps from old style fluorescent light tubes.  Who knew?  By scanning, simplifying and enlarging them they have been morphed into tribal masks, little people, entities far removed from their manufactured origin.

Reaching Out - Tom Dimond - detail - 2013
30" x 22"

Reaching Out is named for the hand that appears at the upper center of the piece.  It is the hand of one of Tom's favorite characters - Silver Surfer.  Silver Surfer brings an entire history to the piece and I know there are people who recognize him and other characters that are making appearances in Tom's current work.  It is just another way people can enjoy these complex works of art. 

The work continues to move ahead.  More painting.  More collage.  More layers.  Tom's studio reveals his concerns, thoughts, process.  Things hang and are out for study.

Tom in his sunroom studio.

This work along with my work are on view in Paper, Paint and Fiber at the The Art Center in Clemson SC until Wednesday, June 15, 2016.  Tom is presenting demonstration/workshop June 11 at the Art Center. For more information and to register: click here


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post about Tom's work. Your thoughtfully written details give me insight to his work and the man behind it. xo C

    1. Thank you Christine. He is an has been an inspiration to lots of students and has certainly inspired me.

  2. I agree with Christine's comment. I as I commented on the previous post, I wish I lived closer so I can view this exhibit in person. Bravo!