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Agape Charmani for Art-Sheep

Tom Sanford is an artist born and based in New York. Working mainly with oil and acrylic paint, Sanford forms bizarre worlds on canvas, paper and wood.

Sanford’s worlds stands as sarcastic comments on pop culture, the media and the art world, featuring famous personas, from Barack Obama, to the Olsen twins. He describes his works as kitsch, as he stages his subjects in both historical and contemporary settings, addressing issues such as aesthetics and taste. Sanford wants his work to be accessible and understandable, involving everybody in the process of receiving the artistic information, avoiding distinctions and using a theme that is commonly discussed and promoted as media culture.

Using famous celebrities as his ecstatic models, Sanford even touches more important matters such as class, race, sex and religion, creating a line of work that can be easily perceived and pass on its message.

“Along with the overt sociopolitical agenda, my work also attempts to describe the context that is made in. I believe that in order to make a work of art that is important for posterity, the work must describe some aspect it’s own time and place with truth and accuracy. It is with this in mind that I tend to pick subject matter that will seem dated very quickly. One of the anxieties that I have about my work is a frustration with the competitive disadvantage that the individual has when going up against a culture of corporation and commodification. My choice to address a very disposable subject matter (celebrities & current events) in a very slow fashion (oil painting) highlights this frustration and speaks to the condition of the painter in contemporary society. Much like Sisyphus i make paintings only to have them be obsoleted by the 24 hour news cycle and a culture hungry for novelty before I even finish. But this problem is by design and I a comforted every time i visit the museum and marvel at paintings of great and important people who we have forgotten, but the importance of the paintings remain, only increasing over time,” explains the artist.

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