Each week in 'Pixelated Stories', we highlight an established or emerging artist, making waves in the art world.
This week we caught up with the very talented and enigmatic Thomas Fotomas, the artist behind some of the most sought after surf inspired art, to find out more about the inspiration behind his paintings, his connection to a fictional early 19th century French anti-Sherlock Holmes and the simple things in life that make him happy!
Pixel Gallery - Hi Thomas, thank you for joining us today. Your surf inspired images are very popular with our readers and we would love to find out more about what inspires your artwork and how you came to develop your unique style?
Thomas Fotomas – Thank you for the kind words. I’ve always taken lot of photos with long exposures, but I always lacked a subject who, in addition to being in the right place, at the right time, would also stay still for long enough to get the perfect shot. It was too restrictive for my imagination, so I explored several solutions until I was able to translate my vision into the images you see.
Pixel Gallery - We love your nickname ‘Fotomas’, how did you come up with it?
Thomas Fotomas – I was looking for an original name, so I had the idea of combining my first name with ‘Photo’. I also loved an old famous film character in France called " Fantomas " played by Louis de Funes as I always understood his solitary nature and like to be discreet when taking my photos. I thought it suited my ghostly personality.
Pixel Gallery - If you were not able to show someone who had never seen your images a picture, how would you describe your images to them?
Thomas Fotomas – A subject with a very refined, colourful and stylized beach landscape in the background with straight lines that extend to infinity.
Pixel Gallery - Your images are a combination of photography and graphic design, would you describe yourself as a Photographer? A Graphic Designer? An Artist? Or Something else?
Thomas Fotomas – I’m a photographer author and visual designer, ultimately I am a Storyteller.
Pixel Gallery - How would you define art?
Thomas Fotomas – Art is above all a means of human expression, that comes to life through different senses, impressions, memories, and emotions. It testifies, embellishes, and pays homage to life
Pixel Gallery - You clearly love the ocean and surfing but apart from this which place are you the happiest to be in?
Thomas Fotomas – I'm lucky to have a garden and it's one of the places where I feel really good, when I plant, dig, water and when I'm barefoot I feel at peace.
It's the simple things that make me the happiest.
Pixel Gallery - Do you have a favourite musician? Or genre of music? And why are they your favourite?
Thomas Fotomas – It's very hard for me to have a single favourite artist. I really enjoy varying musical genres.
It really depends on the moment and my mood. At the moment I love DJs like Amelie Lens or Stella Bossi who mix heavy techno and this past winter I was more attracted to acid jazz or psychedelic rock.
My favourite musical artists are certainly not mainstream even if some international singers are legendary.
The music that has touched me the most in the last 5 years is that of Panda dub like the album "The lost ship" which is amazing.
Pixel Gallery - If you could be born as anyone, in any time period in history and anywhere in the world, where would it be, who would you be and why?
Thomas Fotomas – I am quite fascinated by the glorious 1930s and 1940s. There were less of superficiality in the way of living. Nature was still resplendent, the heroism of ordinary people during the war as an example of greatness. Things like solidarity, recognition and respect within the community were stronger. The 60s and 70s too so I would have liked to have been born like my grandparents in the 20s.
For the best place maybe in the French alps or Hawaii.
Pixel Gallery - What one book would you recommend everyone reads?
Thomas Fotomas – I would recommend the ‘Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle and I was also very interested at a period of my life by the thoughts of Jiddu Krishnamurti and the depth of the book " Freedom from the Known"
Pixel Gallery - What is the one thing people are always surprised to find out about you?
Thomas Fotomas – I am a very simple and very sensitive person. I consume as little as possible or buy things second hand.
Pixel Gallery - What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Thomas Fotomas – We rarely get or give good advice, experience is the best teacher. The best thing is to do is take action, we will learn from what follows.
Pixel Gallery - And finally, which one building would you love to see one of your images displayed one day?
Thomas Fotomas – The best place would be a billboard on the road or on the subway platform.
Pixel Gallery - Thank you, as always it's being a pleasure speaking with you. Have a lovely day!
See Thomas's current exhibition here