Prints by Tom Flint ◄ Back


I first saw the work of Tom Flint early in 1995, when he applied to study printmaking at the Slade School of Fine Art. I remember that both I and my collegues looked in some amazement at a series of gigantic architectural drawings, as well as at some remarkable black and white prints that were part of his portfolio. At the time we thought that such work could only have been created by a very gifted young student, although with a vision relating more to the past than to the present. If the drawings were slightly academic (with a neo-classic connotation), the etchings, with their dramatic Rembrantdesque chiaroscuro reminded me of the great tradicional British etchers of the first half of the 20th century like Cameron and Muirhead Bone, whose vision was to a very great extent subservient to the great Dutch master. We wondered at the time if Tom’s prints of St. Marks in Venice and Tottenham Court Road were no more than the result of the work of a highly gifted artist but with limited sense of adventure. But after being accepted at the Slade, Tom’s work rapidly evolved and having freed himself of the weight of the past, he started exploring a new, more adventurous imagery. The prints in this exhibition should then be seen as the work of a young artist exploring and probing his own world, where a sardonic attitude combines quite often with a more metaphysical, dark vision. To some extent, these prints somehow reflect the innovations of the sixties and of the Pop movement with its use of hand drawn letterring as well as a very free attitude in the drawing of the human figure. In their own way they represent the acid comment of the artist on the world that surrounds him. These are in fact remarkable prints, many of which require a closer attention from the spectator as it is quite often in the details as well as in the writings that we can find the key to the meaning of these pictures. These are highly intelligent and sensitive images where form and content complement each other in harmony. A rare thing these days, indeed.

Bartolomeu dos Santos

January 2003


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