My Account My Lightboxes Create Account Submissions Guidelines Help
[ ARTIST ARCHIVE ]
  ARTIST PORTFOLIO  
 
Tom Block
updated: 01/29/2009
website: www.tomblock.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Into the Singularity
Into the Singularity
Into the Singularity
Into the Singularity (detail)
Into the Singularity (detail)
Ecstatic Mystic
Hanging Around Mystic
Carnie Mystic
Winston Churchill
Happy-Go-Lucky Mystic
Apologia Mystica
Boogie Woogie Mystic
Contemplative Mystic II
Running Mystic II
Son-of-a-Gun Mystic
 
Portfolio Keywords:  figurative, collage, gestural, portraiture, psychological, spiritual, social criticism
 
 
Into the Singularity by Tom Block
Into the Singularity
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
72 " x  864 " 
Into the Singularity by Tom Block
Into the Singularity
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
72 " x  864 " 
Into the Singularity by Tom Block
Into the Singularity
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
72 " x  864 " 
Into the Singularity (detail) by Tom Block
Into the Singularity (detail)
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
72 " x  864 " 
Into the Singularity (detail) by Tom Block
Into the Singularity (detail)
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
72 " x  864 " 
Ecstatic Mystic by Tom Block
Ecstatic Mystic
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Hanging Around Mystic by Tom Block
Hanging Around Mystic
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Carnie Mystic by Tom Block
Carnie Mystic
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Winston Churchill by Tom Block
Winston Churchill
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Happy-Go-Lucky Mystic by Tom Block
Happy-Go-Lucky Mystic
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Apologia Mystica by Tom Block
Apologia Mystica
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Boogie Woogie Mystic by Tom Block
Boogie Woogie Mystic
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Contemplative Mystic II by Tom Block
Contemplative Mystic II
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Running Mystic II by Tom Block
Running Mystic II
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 
Son-of-a-Gun Mystic by Tom Block
Son-of-a-Gun Mystic
acrylic, ink & collage on canvas
2006
48" x  24" 

Artist Statement

In the Garden of the Mystical Redoubt

Mystical realization is defined by the denial and even denigration of the experience of self.  Mysticism holds that personal emotion, attachment and sensual, human love are all the mark of ignorance, and tether us to the “human;” while mystical attainment, which attempts to deny the “I” and move to some airy region where personality is diaphanous and emotion untouchable, somehow leads us toward God’s ultimate purpose.

Frankly put, this is wrong. 

After all, if the universe bequeathed us anything, it certainly gave us our tendencies.  If we believe that it is our ultimate purpose to outrun these tendencies through a kind of mystical repression, this seems fallacious and illogical.  This universe has created us in a certain manner and, as such, it is through our very human quirks and five senses that we can most clearly come in contact with the universe that birthed us.  The desire to turn tail and hide beneath some absurd cloak of non-action is just a deeper form of human ignorance.

These works explore the horror of classical mystical attainment – cold, lonely, miserable, unloved, terrifying, insanity producing and just plain wrong.  I have created a series of 85 different images representing mystical “adepts” in various stages “on down a garden path” towards personal, ego dissolution.

Artist Bio / CV

I am an artist/activist who has shown my work in galleries and museums around the United States and in Europe.  My work concerns the confused spiritual state in which we find ourselves in this post-modern era, and how we might find meaning in this cultural morass of “reality” TV shows and lying politicians.

As part of my ongoing investigation of how to make art relevant to the greater society, I have worked in conjunction with Amnesty International, International Peace Research Association, Peace and Justice Studies Association, Irish Centre for Human Rights, UNESCO Center for Peace, Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition and other activist organizations.  I have published numerous academic articles tracing the influence of Sufism on the development of Jewish mysticism during medieval times, as well as exhibiting my art and discussing my ideas at such institutions as George Washington University, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Franklin and Marshall College, Eastern Carolina University, Hood College, Ohio University, Manhattan College and Antioch College.  My work is in collections at the Irish Centre for Human Rights; Contemporary Art Museum of Montecatini, Italy; Portland (OR) Community College; George Washington University; Georgetown University Hospital; HNTB Architecture, and the Summit Art School.  I have been awarded monetary grants and other support from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation (NY), Sugarman Foundation (CA), Nelson Talbott Foundation (MD), Puffin Foundation (NJ), New York Foundation for the Arts (NY), Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (MD) and Amnesty International.

Out of all of this work, I have developed a theory entitled: “Prophetic Activist Art,” an idea that I have presented at art, peace and human rights conferences around the United States and Canada.