Tom Polo explores the anxious human condition with a sense of humour

Tom Polo is a very exciting visual artist living and working in Sydney. When you look at Tom’s work, you can just tell the dude’s got a sense of humour. His work uses text and semi-abstract forms to explore the anxiety and of the human condition. Putting a magnifying glass over our expectations, disappointments, failures and stresses and flipping them with a sense of humour. We all know humour is used as a coping mechanism, with anxiety and self-deprecation often sitting side-by-side. Tom uses his canvases and murals as a space to create these emotive, twisted, beautiful portraits of human nature.

Tom’s work is characterised by a strong, powerful colour palette and often obscured human figures. Unexpected and textural, his forms make their way across murals, canvases and sculptures. At first impression, the style seems naive, yet it becomes apparent that Tom’s practice is mature and well-developed, rooted in idea and concept. His figures toe the line between clarity and obscurity with brush strokes and swaths of colour disguising and disfiguring his portraits. We’re particularly enamoured with his wall paintings, which are usually site-specific, performative art pieces which involve Tom making marks over a duration of time in a public place. He works slowly and allows his surroundings and encounters inspire the work, letting hints of his audience mingle with his own personas and portraits on the wall.

Another cool thing to note: Tom also once did a performance art piece which involved giving away 3000 promotional pens over three days. Yep. Keep letting that glorious, amazing, crazy sense of humour shine, Tom. We're feeling a little better about being a freaky human already.

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