I’m a surreal fine art photographer that specializes in combining travel photos to create photomontages. I once sat on a plane for 27 hours to explore the hot jungles of Africa and capture photos of lions and giraffes for my work. My goal is to create the most unique photomontages by combining images from around the world.
I’ve traveled to over 23 countries to collect photos and find inspiration. I’ve found gratefulness for life and strong craving for art.
This craving has also driven me to create my own art. Each experience strengthens my resolve to travel and enjoy artistic inspiration.
Thom Wright has combined his passions for art and engineering, and his two practices benefited from each other. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he joined the U. S. Navy after high school and then returned home to go to college. After graduating in 1970 with a BA and MA in mathematics from UCLA and CSULA, he began a successful, 32 year career in aerospace. While working in advanced space systems and technologies development, he began taking art and art history courses at night at local community colleges. He began selling art and successfully entering competitive art shows in 1978.
His interest initially centered in abstract landscape and figurative painting, influenced both by 20th century European modernists and American expressionists. Beginning in 1986, his subject matter moved toward contemporary issues, including technology, geopolitics, and the global environment. His abstract painting style also migrated towards inclusion of industrial materials, found objects and mixed media, which reflect influences of his technical background. These issues and processes continue in his art work.
Desiring to improve his skills, theory and knowledge in art, he took early retirement from the Boeing Corp. in 1999 and entered art school full time. In May, 2006, he completed the MFA program in Drawing and Painting at California State University, Long Beach.
I think of my artwork as a record of ideas. I am curious about many things in the world and I get a pleasure from trying to authentically and sincerely depict all that I learn. I am an engineer by trade and have received Black Belts in seven different Martial Art disciplines, but art has always just been there—a part of me, no matter what else is going on.
My work always includes strong subjects and themes, and uses the object to express the ideas, I’ve nothing against non-objective work; it is just that my soul expresses itself by portraying a scene, or an object, or an image – then modifying it to express my needs and passion. There must be a connection between the subject matter of a painting I’m creating and my feelings and attitudes about that subject. In general, I strive to be more expressive and thoughtful about my work.
California State University Long Beach BFA, Drawing and Painting, Printmaking
Mesa College, San Diego, Fine Art
Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico , Special Studies in Landscape
Bellas Artes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico , Special Studies in Figure
A Loft Art Gallery, Mike Henigman
926 Santa Ana Blvd
Santa Ana, Ca. 92701
Tele: (714) 209-7321
R.A. Gallery, Liza and Alex Grigrolopolos
1000 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60622,
Tele: (773) 775-8410 Fax: (773) 862-8641
One Person Shows
1985: Jung Gallery – Theme: “A foundation in landscapes”
1986: San Diego Art Institute – Theme” “From present to past”
1987: Lyceum Gallery, Horton Plaza
2002: Thunder Center Arts
Exhibitions and Competitions
1984: Galeria Pargola – San Miguel de Allende
Art in All Media – Southern California Exposition
Oceanside 34th Annual Art Show – Carlsbad, Jurors:Frank Tauriero and Marilyn Zapp
SDAI 30th Annual Art Show; Juror: Richard Koshalek, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles
Combined Organization to the Visual Arts Auction to benefit San Diego Artist
1985: San Diego Art Institute 31th Annual Art Show
1986: Small Image XI, San Diego; Juror: Susan Durrant
Art in All Media – Southern California Exposition: 1st Place
Mid-Summer Award Show SDAI
1987: Small Image XII; San Diego, Jurors: Stuart Burton and Allen Murrow
Mid-Summer Award Show – SDAI, Juror: Robert McDonald
Annual Award Show – La Jolla Art Association, Juror: Robert Hiram Meltzer
City Fest San Diego – Best of Show
Artist Masked Ball
1988: Rogue Gallery – San Diego, an art exhibit to benefit the San Diego Center for the blind
1993: Mid-Winter Award Show – SDAI
Pratt Gallery – San Diego Artwalk
Art in All Media – Southern California Exposition: Honorable Mention
1999: Huntington Beach Art Center – Call for Artist
2001: Huntington Beach Art Center – Call for Artist
Pastels on High International Exhibition – Placerville, California; Juror: Richard McDaniel; High Sierra Award
Orange County Fair – 1st place/Professional Painting in Pastels
1st place/Professional Painting in Oils
2005: San Diego Art Institute 48th Annual International
2nd City Council’s Member’s Exhibition, Long Beach
Rock Harbour Artist Loft, Costa Mesa
Curators & Galleries
1987: Larry Urrutia Arts Consultant, San Diego
1993: Tarbox Gallery, San Diego
1995: Crown Art, Huntington Beach
2002: Peirside Gallery Huntington Beach
Paolo was born in Modena, Italy. After scientific studies at the local lycée, he moved to Pisa where he earned a Masters Degree in Computer Science. In 1995, Paolo moved to Laguna Beach, California, to study at University of California Irvine, and subsequently to work as a network engineer for an nationwide Internet Service Provider (ISP). So how did Paolo develop his interest in art? In 2004 Paolo met renowned maestro Javier Alvarez Palomar in Laguna Beach CA, and from that point, art became Paolo’s main interest. By 2005 he was dedicating himself to art on a full-time basis. Maestro Javier Alvarez took him on journey of learning through classical and modern idioms, from the chiaroscuro to abstract expressionism, using different media: oil, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, watercolors. You can trace some of these explorations in the Archives section of my website. The teacher-‐student relationship soon developed into friendship, and to this day Maestro Alvarez remains a “lighthouse of art” for Paolo. Maestro Alvarez’s approach to art is based on his conviction that, “I can teach you how to paint, but I can’t teach you to paint: that is your personal engagement in art!” In 2006 Paolo moves to Trieste, Italy, where he studied with various local artists. An abstract painting from this period based on a view of the gulf of Trieste from Molo Audace become the cover of a book on the philosophy of Jacques Derrida in 2012. In 2010 Paolo moved to New York to study at the Art Student League, to which he was admitted as a full member 2011. At the League Paolo has worked with a range of artists always with a view to exploring different avenues of creativity and consolidating his own personal style: Mary Beth McKenzie, Terence Coyle, Costa Vavagiakis, Gary Sussman, Frank O’Cain, Bruce Dorfman are some of the artists Paolo have been studying with. Recognition for Paolo’s art came from his earliest days at the League: on a number of occasions he has been awarded the jury’s “Blue Dot” – for highly commended work – in class shows. He also received the Ruth Katzman Scholarship for the Artist-‐ in-‐Residency Program at the League’s Vytlacil Campus for 2012. Most recently, Paolo’s journey of artistic exploration has led him to study mixed media with Bruce Dorfman. In so doing, Paolo’s aim is to investigate the creation of pictorial space using the four key components of color, value, intensity and texture. Any one of these components might be assigned priority in a given work. In this most recent phase, Paolo’s paintings become assemblages, where the canvas edges are often “broken” by different elements. Some of these works have a sculptural feeling, reminiscent of bas-‐relief. Despite the undeniably contemporary nature of these works, they preserve the classical elements of lines, planes, etching and cross-‐etching, albeit using a range of materials that includes unconventional elements such as copper and burlap. Glazing also has a fundamental importance in Paolo’s work, creating the transparencies and translucencies he seeks. In short, his work encompasses modern composition and formal elements without abandoning key classical components. Paolo uses only permanent artist grade paints to guarantee the archival quality of his work.
ARTIST STATEMENT My main aim is to investigate the creation of pictorial space using the four key components of color, value, intensity and texture. In my most recent phase, my paintings became assemblages, where the canvas edges are often “broken” by different elements. Some of these works have a sculptural feeling, reminiscent of bas-‐relief. Despite the contemporary nature of these works, they preserve the classical elements of lines, planes, etching and cross-‐etching, albeit using a range of materials that includes unconventional elements such as copper and burlap. Glazing also has a fundamental importance in my work, creating the transparencies and translucencies I seeks. In short, my work encompasses modern composition and formal elements without abandoning key classical components.
November 2015 : Group Shows at First Street Gallery , 526 west 26th NY;
May 2015 : Sing For Hope NY : Pianos Operation in NY. Selected to paint one of the 50 pianos that were distributed in the city during the month of June 2015
May 2014: Representation byLaguna Gallery of Contemporary Art – Laguna Beach , California ;
October-December 2013 : Laguna Beach City Hall Juried Exhibition, Laguna Beach, CA
July – November 2013 : Wells Fargo-CAP Gallery : Group show Southern California Artists Association, Laguna Beach, CA
May 2013 : Selected to be part of a group exhibition through the Art Student League -NY -‐Outreach program at A.T. Kearney Inc. in Times Square, NY;
April 2013 : Sing For Hope NY : Pianos Operation in NY. Selected to paint one of the 88 pianos that were distributed in the city during the month of June 2013.
December 2012 : Art Students League ‐NY Holiday Exhibition, group show (2 artworks sold), Art Students League of New York,NY,USA;
April 2012 : Art Students League ‐NY show concours (Terence Coyle), group show, Art Students League of New York,NY,USA;
March 2012 : Art Students League‐NY show concours (Frank O’Cain), group show, Art Students League of New York,NY,USA (awarded “Blue Dot”, Special Mention);
December 2011 : Art Students League-‐NY Holiday Exhibition, group show, Art Students League of New York,NY,USA;
July 2011 : Night of a Hundred Angels, group show, Whelean Galleries, Laguna Beach,CA,USA;
May 2011 : Art Students League -NY show concours (Gary Sussman), group show, Art Students League of New York,NY,USA;
April 2011 : Art Students League-‐NY show concours (Terence Coyle), group show, Art Students League of New York,NY,USA (awarded “Blue Dot”, Special Mention);
February 2011 : Art Students League-‐NY show concours (Frank O’Cain), group show, Art Students League of New York,NY,USA (awarded “Blue Dot”, Special Mention);
December 2010 : Art Student League-‐NY Holiday Exhibition, group show, Art Students League of New York,NY,USA;
February 2010 : Southern California Artist Association, solo show, Laguna Beach,CA,USA;
March 2006 : Accademia del Vedere, group show, Trieste,Italy;