“The high saturation, high contrast aesthetics of graffiti and cartoons emerge on the canvas invoking a sense of complication and horror vacui. The yearning toward precision through hard edge geometric shapes, against an impulsive painterly attack orchestrates a dance where one takes the lead after the other in a state of fluctuation that is symbolic of the dualistic world view; fear and empathy, knowledge and ignorance, good and evil. These strange worlds explore a primordial state of Being; the metaphysics of mythos and the vanguard of human creativity. I seek to tap into the roots of collective consciousness and archetypal impulses of mankind; to evoke memories of the spirit from past lives. Working within this conceptual framework, I continue building these colorful abstract worlds invoking wonderment through a sense of simultaneous lucidity and confusion.”
Art is a natural impulse for Tom Halamoutis, growing up around graffiti writers, punks, and tattoo artists that provided inspiration to kept his artistic impulses alive and breathing. His work is rooted in graffiti and combines the New York School of Painting with a touch of Howard Buchwald, and certainly Looney Toons cartoons. Tom strives to achieve a level of virtuosity, but within his own language. A language similar to what spoke to him through the graffiti he saw passing through his town on freight trains, mainly from the Circle T and YME crews in New England.
“In my hometown Haverhill, MA there is this place my friends and I call “The Foundation”. It is a stone wall enclosure that goes up about eight feet high. It was part of an abandoned estate from the 1800’s in the middle of some woods atop a hill. Apparently one of the first ever telephone experiments occurred there. The location was particularly special to me because on my 20th birthday, my friends filled the enclosure up to the brim with cardboard and lit it on fire. The flames went up about 25 feet into the air illuminating the surrounding tree canopies. I was almost sure a forest fire was going to happen, but it was a spectacular and beautiful sight; like a portal opened to hell or something.
In the summer of 2016, I returned to this place and painted a large geometric color field mural over the span of a month and a half. During this time, I was also reading Homer’s The Iliad and learning about the ancient history of my ancestors and the Hellenistic religion. I decided I would finish the mural on the summer equinox and dedicate the work to Helios- the Greek sun god as a votive offering. The experience of painting this mural was transcendental in a way... I felt like Moses going up to Mt. Sinai with my backpack full of paint, toolbox, water bucket, etc... Every day into the woods in isolation for hours and hours aside from the occasional hiker or mountain biker; painting in a meditative state. Sometimes the sun would shine on certain parts of the wall and I would go paint that part. Painting the mural was like a collaboration with the divine. One day, a cop came up there and ironically thanked me for “covering up the graffiti”. I thought it was pretty funny since I did not have permission to be painting there at all. It felt as though the Gods granted me the right to paint this place the way the Gods granted favor to certain characters in The Iliad.”
You can find Tom Halamoutis, at “youlookguilty”.
Future Primitivity: Man’s Procession toward the Irrational Noontide
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