Tommy Taylor, senior in studio art, began compiling information and research over a three-year span, culminating in his first book titled “Condensed Art Text.” Taylor’s book was released in August, and he is now in the process of getting it on Amazon.com for sale.
“There is nothing out there like that,” Taylor said. “The closest thing that has that kind of contemporary content is 700 pages long.”
The uniqueness of his book is its readability, said Timothy Hiles, associate professor of art and former professor of Taylor. This abbreviated academic work is a dictionary of contemporary art terms whose definitions change over time.
“One of the great curses and best benefits of the art world is that it’s always developing, which makes it very unorganized, and this is my way of organizing it,” Taylor said.
The graphic on the front of “Condensed Art Text” was a piece done by Taylor specifically for his book. Hiles describes Taylor’s front cover artwork as representative with recognizable figures loaded with symbolism.
“He’s a thinking artist. ... He is part of a dialogue to redefine what images mean to his generation,” Hiles said.
Currently, Taylor has a painting titled “Mr. Enjoyment” in Hodges Library. He has had showcases in Gallery 1010 and has participated in other shows in galleries inside the Art and Architecture building. His most successful artwork, based on fellow classmates’ and professors’ critiques, is a painting of a black jacket. He is currently working on a larger piece based on a picture of a pool inspired from his job as a lifeguard at the UT Student Aquatic Center.
“The cultural stigma of being an artist is the toughest thing, especially in the South, which is very different from other places,” Taylor said.
Taylor uses Luc Tuymans, a Belgian painter whose work is inspired by World War II atrocities, as a role model and inspiration for his own art.
Taylor’s pieces are open to interpretation because of the elements of confusion he places in his artwork. These elements combined with others convey a feeling of a “conspicuous vacuum,” Hiles said.
“He is a very engaged student and tries to see things in many perspectives,” Hiles said.
Taylor’s passion for art was sparked by a set of cards given to him as a child that had art nouveau pieces decorating the various faces of the cards. He did not actively begin his art career until he began college at Middle Tennessee State University and then transferred to UT. He said he will be applying for graduate school soon and hopes to continue his passion into a successful career.
Student releases book of art
Published: Fri Nov 02, 2007 | Modified: Fri Nov 02, 2007 03:43 p.m.