Artist Search
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 

 Tom Szewc  (1951 - )

About: Tom Szewc


Examples of his work  

Quick facts

Exhibits - current  


  Book references

Magazine references pre-2007


Discussion board

Signature Examples*  
Buy and Sell: Tom Szewc
  For sale ads Auction results*  
  Wanted ads Auctions upcoming for him*  
  Dealers Auction sales graphs*  

What's my art worth?

Magazine ads pre-1998*  

Market Alert - Free

Lived/Active: Illinois      Known for: group full figure portraits

Login for full access
View AskART Services

*may require subscription

Available for Tom Szewc:

Quick facts (Styles, locations, mediums, teachers, subjects, geography, etc.) (Tom Szewc)


Biographical information (Tom Szewc)


Book references (Tom Szewc)


Magazine references (Tom Szewc)


Discussion board entries (Tom Szewc)


Please send me Alert Updates for Tom Szewc (free)
What is an alert list?

Ad Code: 4
Tom Szewc
An example of work by Tom Szewc
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biographical data was submitted by the artist in February 2006:

Tom Szewc work is distinguished by his involvement with large format group portraits of figures in motion taken for everyday street events and based in contemporary realism. 

At the time of his development Minimalism was the current trend.  Abstract painting issues widely abounded.  Figurative painting was out of fashion but large format painting was common.  As a student at the Philadelphia College of Art Tom fell under the influence of instructors Larry Day, Sidney Goodman and Gene Baguskus, all figure painters with contemporary disciplines.  The concepts Tom learned at PCA were based in the accumulated knowledge of the 20th century.   To hone his painting technique Tom attended the Pennsylvania Academy of  Fine Art under the tutelage of Arthur DeCosta, a figurative master in academic methods and materials.  After the academy Tom became a friend with the painter Paul Gorka a celebrated figure master who invited Tom to draw at Paul’s studio.

In the mid 70’s Tom moved west to California.  As luck would have it he moved to Davis, CA and attended figure drawing sessions with Wayne Thiebald at UC, Davis.  Tom was inspired by the figurative work of Wayne and the bay area influence.  While in California Tom also had the opportunity to meet up with Wolf Kahn and attend a workshop with Wolf.  Wolf’s goal was to infuse his disciples with in his words, “the accumulated knowledge of the 80’s."  That color, the integrity of the work, the surface and being true to one’s vision were paramount.  Tom also relocated to San Luis Obispo where he entertains his desire to understand sculpture in the form of ceramics. Tom made his work in the studio of Henry Wassel and attended a summer workshop in ceramics with Paul Soldner. Henry Wassel procured a work for the departments permanent collection.

Tom has always been drawn to the study of anatomy.  It has been a life long discipline.  Tom was first introduced to the medical labs at the medical school at UC Davis.  Tom’s study of anatomy has paid off.  In his working method,Tom works from images that he photographs.  He uses chance to find his models.

What is available.  Glimpses of what is going on.  The figures are generally in flux.  He recycles these images. He strips them from their situation. He puts insulated individuals from different situation together to create a new condition.  This is all done from digital photography.  Anatomical detail is lacking. It is anatomical knowledge that allows him to employ this process to create figures in motion.

 In his own word, "I use chance to find my models. They are ordinary people I encounter in my daily life. I don't know them prior.  I am just go to crowded places where people congregate.  I see something that sets me off.  It is a pose, a movement, and a relationship.  This triggers an event for me and the source of my content.  Portraits of people in motion.  Not the accepted notion of portraiture, i.e. a single head in a motionless pose.

I really love the work of Isabel Bishop who worked from a similar subject but she, I don't think, though of the figures as group portraiture.  One of my earliest teachers was a fine portrait painter, Richard Essig.

It seems I have never escaped this influence.  But I feel in these works I have transcended the more conventional approaches.  I put disparate individuals from different situation together in my work to create a new condition.  The new condition produces an emotional tension that is essential to my involvement in the work.  I find that the relationships in-group portraiture intensify the dynamic of the condition.  And that's what gives life to my vision and me a buzz.  The most compelling image for me has always been the human figure. There is no limit to the scope of exploration and expression in figuration.  I work from images of figures that I photograph.. I am not interested in their narrative situations.  I want to explore the mystery of a condition, a human condition as it affects me.  As isolated as possible, where it can be clearly felt.  As a figure painter what turns me on is expressing this felt human condition isolated on a canvas.”

Tom has most recently established a new studio in the Chicago metro area.  Shortly thereafter Tom met Zhiwei Tu at an opening.  Tu invited Tom to his studio.  Tu advised Tom to “think big”, “small artist mentor and teach other small artist.  Large masters produce other masters.   If your are starting over at 50, don’t let it concern you just get involved in the work.  Don’t try to get there the easy way.  Small work quickly painted makes little demands.  Challenge yourself!  Go further than you can go.  It is easier to paint 5 apples than one nose.  There are a lot of one figure geniuses.  Paint figures.  Not just one figure but lots and lots of figures.  Tom embraced Tu ‘s wisdom and the result is Tom's mature subject and style, large format group portraits of figures in motion.

Special Awards:  Pastel Society of San Diego, First Place; College of Lake County Purchase Award; Scholarship, Scottsdale Artist School
Associations Exhibitions:

Philadelphia College of Art
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Pastel Society of San Diego, San Diego, CA
San Diego Art Institute,  San Diego, CA
Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo, CA
Mesa College, San Diego ,CA
College of Lake County, Grays Lake, IL
Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL
Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
  go to top home | site map | site terms | AskART services & subscriptions | contact | about us
  copyright © 2000-2015 AskART all rights reserved ® AskART and Artists' Bluebook are registered trademarks

  A |  B |  C |  D-E |  F-G |  H |  I-K |  L |  M |  N-P |  Q-R |  S |  T-V |  W-Z  
  frequently searched artists 1, 2, more...  
  art appraisals, art for sale, auction records, misc artists