*THOMAS J. O'GORMAN - Art is a very human action...attempting to recreate the visual world through the personal filters of very ordinary human beings....for me painting is about translating human experience...imagery and texture...color and shape...all are tools for the function of this recreation...I know that I am driven by color...the use of color permits me the ability to speak volumes in symbol...so too is the style of shape that I use...all of this is married to rearrangement of the image...I used to say that I was an "anti-impressionist"...but in point of fact I believe that beyond my Irish proclivities I am an impressionist....the loose stroke of my brush...the swirling shape of my use of paint builds from nature and ultimately fashions an image that has a curious relationship to reality....painting for me is not about recreating a realistic picture...that's what photography is for...painting tells a story that is beyond the precise measurement of buildings or faces or landscape of views of the sea....the impressions from the eye of the artist present another way of looking and seeing and perhaps understanding something hidden in the original image...if I do this then I am most satisfied that I have done my job...I hope that it expands the vision of the viewer...we all need bigger worlds...more elaborate perspectives and more questioned realties.
Thomas J. OGorman is a painter, an avowed "anti-impressionist," with fauvist tendencies and Irish proclivities. He is also a Chicago writer, as well as the Historian-in-Residence of the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago and the author of its centennial history. He writes frequently about Chicago art and architecture, history and politics. His most recent book is Chicago - Then and Now from the Air (2010). In 2004 he authored Frank Lloyd Wrights Chicago (2004). He is a successful landscape painter and architectural artist.
For Thomas J. OGorman houses stand as significant metaphors in his painting. He says Houses portend both extremes of social prosperity and social degradation in the cultural upheaval of Irish life during its long struggle for political independence. The ironic fact that so many examples of 18th century design still dot the countryside and cityscapes has a curious twist to it. They demonstrate something significant about the Irish in the past and the present. So in my work houses are really much more than they seem. They are more than their architectural structuring. They express cultural resilience and a surprising artistic understanding. In these houses the Irish continue to harvest the past and ennoble the present. I suspect that is why my canvases have a bright and blinding color tone.It is the same palette I use in trying to portray the landscape of the sea, the portraits of interesting people and the of everyday life. This summer I have worked on a series of 18 miniatures that focus on the geography of the island of Ireland. Ocean cliffs, wind-swept seas, horse shows and horse races are an important part of Irish summers, along with sailing and regattas. More arid and predictable is the sun in the south of France. I have included this remarkable landscape almost as a point of comparison with the wet Irish landscape. Among his portraits he includes the late Chicago mayor, Richard J. Daley, and the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre. Each is a person of unique human character and curious facial texture. They were contemporaries.*