Who: Tomas Glass is an artist and musician gaining some serious ground here in Houston. His visual work is mostly abstract, focusing on a series of off-balanced geometric shapes that tend to hover just above a recurring edge of blackness underneath. Many of his pieces have the uncomfortable feeling of being slight hallucinations or illusions barely obscuring some darker beyond. He also dabbles in mixed-media collages that come across like good Dave McKean covers, if not quite as phantasmagorical.
He's also a rising musician who recently reached a pretty significant milestone, from our perspective. A tune he co-wrote with Kanude called "Wheels" was featured in True Blood two seasons ago in the episode "You Smell Like Dinner." It was exactly as dirty and down-home as you'd expect for the Southern vampire soap opera. His solo work is wonderfully dark Americana that you should definitely check out. Especially since he's giving his first album, Devil in the Dugout, away for absolutely free. His second album, Beautiful Monster, is now available on SoundCloud.
Why He Likes It: "What I enjoy about painting can be broken down into two sections. One is being in the studio, leaving my neurosis at the door, then letting the paintings develop over a time of at least a year. Second is the exchange of ideas and interactions, constructive critical feedback and simply meeting interesting people and making new friends."
What Inspires Him: Glass studied with Henry Couture, who made bald eagle sculptures for U.S. presidents such as Bill Clinton, on his 5,000-acre ranch in Arizona on the border with Mexico. He would sketch for several hours, focusing on the human figure and many different animal forms on the porch that surrounded Couture's adobe home built in the mid-1800s.
While working with Couture, Glass received a scholarship to the Glassell School, but only attended for a year. Later he received the encouragement and support of Wade Wilson, who arranged a show for the emerging artist that helped launch his career. He draws inspiration from Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso and Georges Rouault. Outside of visual artists, he likes writer Nick Flynn and musician Charles Tillman.
If Not This, Then What: "If I was not painting, I would be creating something else...probably more children. I joined the USMC about 17 years ago. I would get a law degree and pursue a career in protecting children in some fashion. Whether it be actual boots on ground to help stop human trafficking or create a system to catch predators that violate adolescents of all ages."
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If Not Here, Then Where: "If I did not work in Houston, It would be in the desert mountains between west Texas through New Mexico and Arizona."
What's Next: "I was just in a three-person show at Wade Wilson Art and have a show coming up in Santa Fe (New Mexico, not south of Houston). There is talk about a couple of major institutions, but I won't say since it is not finalized. I'm writing a book Titled The Map No longer Remains inspired by Charles Tillman. I wrote a song inspired by him just weeks ago. I had what was the depressing feeling of being surrounded by the questionable usefulness of the Internet when it came to having a genuine connection and exchange of ideas. He is incredible, but there are so many others that I want to document them and their music and let the world know that these moments are real. Not some production that never happened. And not staged like some commercial or advertisement making you feel left out in order for you to purchase the product that is so often found in the mainstream entertainment industry.
"My favorite painting is in my current show. The painting is titled 'Daniel'' after Daniel Kayne, who just passed from this life. He was my best friend and a great artist. I chose that title because I wanted to share that moment of joy with him. It does not represent him for any one thing in particular, but for its vibrant and complex color structure and composition. So yes, you could say that is Daniel Kayne. It took me a long time to get to that point of understanding color and I felt proud. I wish he could have seen it after so much encouragement over nearly ten years of knowing him. I miss him dearly."
More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer