How do you paint what isn't there -- right in front of you? I'm not talking make-believe. No, not speculation or fancy, either. I'm talking the realm of the unreal -- T.S. Eliot's absolutely real "unreal city". OK, maybe what isn't there before you is only a memory. But it's more likely to be lots of memories, all a jumble. Maybe a dream or two thrown in for good measure. In other words, just as there is no one infinity -- but an infinite number of infinities -- perhaps what isn't there is no one thing, either; i.e., whatever nothing is is no singular void or invisible world, but a vast unreality that encompasses us. What would a landscape like this even look like? And then, once we're able to see it -- I mean really see it -- what if we were then to look at it differently again, like from above? Or from the side?
View our digital art exhibit by Tom Hlas
I like to think there's something to all this, some invisible variety, which I believe can also be seen clearly in Tom's paintings. I find his work joyful and haunting, torn and coherent, lost in thought yet completely centered. Exploring the nature of these modern contradictions, as readers of the first issue of Jam Tarts will know, is kind of my thing.
So, in this summer update (Issue #1.5) I'm honored and pleased to present Tom's mixed media paintings within these digital pages. And besides appearing throughout the magazine, there is also a new section dedicated to viewing his art. I hope you will enjoy it as I do.
Frederick Speers, Founding Editor and Publisher of Jam Tarts