5 Questions with Tom Król

Tom Król highlights and celebrates forms and symbols that might otherwise go unnoticed. Based in Cologne and Offenbach, the German artist is currently showing Hugs & Kisses–a solo exhibition in the city’s Ruttkowski;68 gallery that focuses on ‘the everyday inspirations, in my quotidian surroundings’.

Where are you at the moment (and is it where you want to be)?

At the moment I find myself at a point in my work in which the research of motifs and imagery is at the foreground. After a long time working on the technique of my work, I can now concentrate and focus on the right route for my paintings. I have noticed that this is the craft for most of the disciplines. This does not mean that I have decrypted the art of painting itself, but I’m at a point where I can work in a more free way than before. Learning and developing is crucial in any discipline–reflection, painting, etc.– it occupies the first place and might never be completed.

Can you tell us a little about the work that is showing in Hugs & Kisses?

With the selection of works for the exhibition I wanted to face different aspects and different stages of my work and of the viewer. I also wanted to give myself the opportunity to find certain relationships and identify new matches or dissonances so that new aspects, information and interpretations can be found.

When did you realize you wanted to focus on the ‘unremarkable’ in your work?

I think that it is an interpretation of the viewer. The motives that I use in my work are constant and almost always accessible to everyone. Part of my job is focused on the viewer but also on sensitizing my own self and making the viewer aware of the details. I do not think that in any way, any information or image is secondary, they always convey a clear message in any context. Perhaps this message, this idea, is not directly perceived by each whereby the process and appropriation of my work is of importance because I may broaden the context of the information provided to the viewer.

What tend to be the main sources of inspiration for you work? Do they come from the art world itself, or from the wider world?

I cannot say if there are main sources of inspiration. Several parts of my work employ the themes and concepts of painting and art itself. However, the prominent part of my job resides in the everyday inspirations, in my quotidian surroundings.

Are you spontaneous with the way did you work, or do you have plans for quite solid pieces before you even begin to put them together?

My work consists of different stages. Parts therefore may be regarded as spontaneous, but I think that nothing is ever quite totally random. I take pictures and steadily draw motifs that I appropriate to myself afterwards in the studio through drawings and paintings. That way, I can observe by myself which motives are appropriated by the conscious and unconscious process and thus I apply to some pictures the temporarily use of the alphabet. This preparatory work can often lead to the finished design. That is, I draw a design, it strikes me and turns into the subject of a work. This process is often applied on the canvas before developing into a subject on the painting surface.

Tom Król: Hugs & Kisses is showing at Ruttkowski;68 until 15 November

Tom Król portrait by Nils Müller
Tom Król, Untitled, 2015
Tom Król, ‘Sylt’, 2015
Tom Król, Untitled, 2015

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