Photograph by Michel Rosenberg
Discussion with Miltos Despoudis
Thomas Thores Hyman (b. 1991) is a Scottish figurative painter based in Berlin. Raised in Aberdeenshire, he completed a diploma in architecture at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in 2012. After a spell working in graphic design, illustration and music he returned to RGU, progressing through 3 years of painting short courses at Gray’s School of Art, concluding in 2018.
Moving to Berlin that same year, Thomas’s practice has since evolved through various stages of experimentation, distilling aspects of each to produce his unique blend of realism, surrealism, symbolism and abstraction. A background in technical drawing and photography informs his dramatic use of perspective along with his inclination towards intense lighting and vivid colour.
Parallels between art and music also influence his painting - as the human voice is often the most direct means of communicating both emotion and meaning in music, Thomas sees in the portrait its visual counterpart. Another correspondence lies in his composition, which in each medium fuses instinctual automatism and reasoned ideation, usually arriving in that order. This approach sees the artist standing at the crossroads of intention, chance, conscious and unconscious, exploring the varied opportunities visible only from this point.
My work concerns the junction of dreams and reality, the indivisible nature of the conscious and subconscious and the relationship between traditional and digital image-making. Using the human form as the main vehicle of expression, my subjects often appear fractured, fragmented or distorted in some way, as if torn by indecision, pulled apart by opposing influences or misrendered by faulty code.
A cubist-inspired aspect frequently appears in the impossible collocation of several distinct poses in my portraits. In harmony with this is the incongruity of the environments surrounding my subjects, often featuring implausible, bewildering geometries dissolving oneirically into one another. With each of these I intend to present a hint of the familiar, which is no sooner glimpsed than it is supplanted by something altogether stranger, unveiling itself layer by uncanny layer, and in turn giving the work a sense of depth and enigma.
Presentation at exhibition 'View' during Berlin Art Week