Artist Tom Chavez's style lies some where between Realism and Abstract. He is presently working on a series of portraits of some of the most famous and most infamous personalities that have ever lived. His work has been featured in numerous shows through out the southwest including Santa Fe , Austin , and Houston
Tom was born in a sleepy little town situated high in the cool Rock Mountains . He grew up in a rough and tumble mining community near Silver City , in the southwestern part of New Mexico . He received his BS of Fine Art at the University of Western New Mexico , and his teaching certificate at the Texas Tech University .
Chavez served his country faithfully in the Navy during the Viet Nam Conflict. At the end of his duty Tom asked for and received a local separation in Rota Spain at the age of 23. This was the starting point of an adventure filled oddity that spanned four continents and 27 countries. During his solo travels Icon was exposed to some of most interesting cultures, and the greatest works of art in the world. This has created a profound and lasting impact that is reflected in his work.
Art apart form God and my family is my greatest aspiration. I wish to be remembered as one of the great artist of our times. As far back as I can remember I've had a profound interest in creating things. I believe that a room with out art is like a body without a soul. I don't know what first inspired me to be an artist. It's as if creating art has always been a part of me since the beginning of who knows when. Pencil and pastel are my favorite mediums, followed closely by metal and clay sculpting. I've tried a broad range of mediums from collages to fabric art, and I can truly say that I've enjoyed them all.
The reason I have chosen to create the “One Upon A Sign” collection is because for one thing I am amazed how some people seem to be able to rise to super human highs. Another reason is to bring public awareness about individuals and ideologies, and what they represent. Yet another reason is to keep those that have passed to the other side alive in our minds eye.
The way I create an image begins by first, studying the subject extensively, which includes reading biographies, viewing documenters, and reading their personal accounts and ideas. Once I am familiar with the individual I begin to collect as many photos of the subject as there are available. If I have access to a lot of photos, then I pick characteristics from different photo I feel capture the true personality of that person. I then create an original sketch and match a symbol, sign and /or an icon that represents my subject. I use these symbols to create shadow and texture. To capture the likeness of the person can take months of work and can require thousands of carefully placed symbols. As far as I know I am the only one in the world creating these kinds of portraits.
The first portrait that I created using this method was the Christ. This piece took me over seven months to complete and contains over ten thousand crosses. The crosses represent the mass of souls that Jesus died to save. I used the facial bone structure from the image on the Shroud of Turin, to create the representation of Christ. I do not claim this to be a true likeness of Jesus Christ, nor was it ever meant to be a reference of worship, but merely a representation, and a reminder of his extraordinary life and message.
I will continue to create these images for many years to come, because these are the people that have had the greatest impact on us for realizing their greatest ideas. They have learned to connect their dreams to their reality. We are energy beings bound to the energy all around us. We are the life force of the universe we must be celebrated and remembered.