"I make artwork about trying to simultaneously hide and perform, a process I call 'conspicuous invisibility'. My work expresses my natural inclination towards introversion by displaying performative artwork essentially about hiding. Instead of presenting myself or my sitters in a recognisable way, we appear concealed, ambiguous and without definite shape."
Tom Butler (b. 1979, UK) collects memories, thresholds and hiding places and attempts to re-manufacture them in a visual way. He is most recognized for his ongoing series of unique hand painted Victorian Cabinet cards – previously discarded albumen photographs – featuring portraits of men and women rendered anonymous by colourful patterns and forms applied in meticulously detailed gouache and intricate collage. By cutting away sections of the original images and adding layers or geometric blocks of colour, Butler draws attention to both the delicate vintage style and texture of the cards, and the generic nature of the sitters and their poses. His interactions re-create each one as a unique and contemporary work of art. These re-workings express Butler's interest in what he calls 'conspicuous invisibility', where the process of concealment becomes a kind of performance, exposing the personal and psychological affectations of the subjects pictured as well as his own thinking as an artist.
Unique works and limited edition prints from £375 + VAT