STUDIO VISIT - Tomas Goldsmit 

By: Tal Levy

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Photo by: Guy Haviv

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Tom, this month I’ll be 34. I was Born in Haifa, but my family relocated several times. 

I spent most of my teenage years in Jerusalem, where my studio was based for the last couple of years.

 

Where did your passion for art begin?

When I was in elementary school I saw the movie “Kickboxer”. In art class, inspired by the movie, I drew the whole dojo club; two floors of different characters wearing ninja masks and swords, kicking and fighting. Yin yang symbols decorated the walls. My teacher called my mom to say I made something brutal, she asked her where does this violence come from? And I said, Van Damme’s movie.

Van Damme was my favorite action figure. I had tons of GI Joes action figures. I didn't like some of their outfits. I turned them from fighters into football players, painting them with tipp-ex. For the stadium I was creating, I then cut newspaper ads and pasted them on little pieces of cardboard made into commercial signs – Toto, Coca Cola, Fuji film, etc. 

Growing up I always loved football. When I was thirteen I started noticing the European fanatic fan culture, aka “Ultras”. I watched less of the game and looked for more of the banners, flags, logos, etc. Pretty quickly I became the artist of the fan club that was up and coming in Haifa. I built a complete graphic identity expressed by banners, flags, clothes and more – which still remain years later.

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How would you describe your work to someone?

I use color as my highest priority. I'm drawn to figurative characters and objects in their most “regular” habitat, naive everyday moments that can feel nostalgic at a glance.

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'Untitled', 2021

Acrylic on wood panel

40x48cm 

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'Untitled', 2021

Acrylic on canvas 

20x28cm

What are you currently working on?

I just completed a big project in Ramla City Market which included six large scale murals, inspired by the everyday scenes of the market and the local crowd. Nowadays I am working on several murals for The Hebrew Academy in Jerusalem, regarding the history of Hebrew linguistics and it’s roots.

Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice.

I am mostly moved by the subject of everyday life. The street, its people and color. I look for casual gestures within these innocent daily moments. 

Some of my favorite contemporary artists are Octavi Arrizabalaga, Mark Tennant, Axel Void, Mohamed l’Ghacham and Malcolm T. Liepke along with post-impressionist artists such as Gauguin and Van Gogh. Their use of color, brush techniques, big scale and large dimensions in addition to their selection of subject matter have made a significant impact on me and my practice.

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Photos by: Guy Haviv

What are your plans for the remainder of this year?

I'm happy to take part in several group exhibitions scheduled to open this summer.

I wish to be able to continue creating, expanding and experimenting my work. 

'Relatives Iv'e Never Met', 2021

Acrylic on canvas 

120x120cm