To those of you who don't already know this artist, we are very excited to be able to introduce you to the works of Tom Butler. The focus of Tom's art is the urban scene. His artwork is testament to the fact that there are more intricacies, nuances, details and dynamics in an urban landscape than you would think on first glance. Delving into these fascinating details, whilst also capturing something of the larger scale sweep of an urban space, Tom Butler's art prints transport you to many an iconic city across the globe.
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The first thing that will strike you about Tom Butler's art is how vivid a sense of place it creates. You will see the iconic scenes of cities such as London, Paris and New York recreated in an accomplished and convincing manner. But then, on the second and third viewing, you will notice that this is far from a broad brushstrokes depiction, as small details will emerge from the background, filling the urban scene up with rich cast full of life, humour and character. This is where Tom's paintings cease to be purely about place, but indeed start to tell a story, with the shape of the narrative dictated by subtle and close detailing sketched into the heart of the painting.
Storytelling Through Painting
Tom's genius for these subtle touches of storytelling often takes on an almost novelistic style. Snatches of narrative will emerge out of a clever piece of characterisation in the painting of people in the background. From this characterisation, the background figures stop being background figures and step forward as part of what makes up the real experience of any city street. Tom also sometimes uses words in his art, often scene in signs or newspapers, to build up the layers of meaning in his urban scene.
What emerges out of this close attention both to the shape and texture of buildings and the character of people is a form of collage. Like any of the great modernist poetry that attempted to give a sense of city life through its combination of different voices and styles of speech. Tom Butler's prints show beautiful cityscapes that speak through multiple aspects, bringing together a harmony of small details that are greater than the sum of their parts.