I use images and ideas from nature and derivatives of patterns and decoration. While dealing with the formal aspects of the picture’s surface I also explore its symbols and metaphors– both personal and more universal. Nature and beauty and their loss – the increasing disassociation and alienation – are general concerns. I am interested in systems, networks, connections and infrastructures – their strengths and vulnerabilities. I focus particularly on the spot where things hold up but threaten to disappear, collapse or disintegrate–order confronting disorder. Without resolution or answers, I want to present the place where opposites can exist simultaneously. More work can be seen at www.tomkoken.com.
Tom Koken was born in St. Louis, MO, studied at Kansas City Art Institute and received a BFA from School of Visual Arts. One-person shows include: Phantom Limb, MKG127; Sragow Gallery, NYC; E.S. Galt Gallery, St. Louis, MO; Artist’s Space, NYC. Group exhibitions, include: Pattern Theory, MKG127, Toronto; Urban Forest Project, Times Square, NYC; 25th Anniversary Selections, Drawing Center, NYC; Create! Don’t Hate, LBGT Center, NYC; Assumption, N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago, IL; Selection 42, Drawing Center, NYC; Group Show–Member’s Gallery, Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY; Animal Life, One Penn Plaza, NYC; National and International Studio Program, Clocktower, NYC; Past and Future Perfect, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY; 26 NY Artists, Studio de Corrado Levi, Milan, Italy; Hundreds of Drawings, Artist’s Space, NYC; Alienation, Group Material, NYC. He received a studio grant for a year at the Clocktower and a year at PS1.