Tomasz Rut – Featured Artist

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Artist interview with Tomasz Rut. I caught up with Polish artist Tomasz Rut in Las Vegas at ArtExpo Las Vegas.
Image of Hippolion by artist Tomasz Rut

Interview with Tomasz Rut

by Paula Soito

CAMPBELLS 36x42 copy
Campbells

Tomasz Rut is a Polish born artist named one of the most collectable living artists by the Robb Report. His works were recently added to the Vatican Collection. From pop art to contemporary figurative paintings, Tomasz blends the Classical tradition of mythical Greco-roman with modern western culture creating a unique mixture that is astonishingly mesmerizing.

I interviewed him at ArtExpo Las Vegas 2018:

Paula:

You grew up in Poland with wonderful exposure to the arts. What was it like growing up with a mother, herself a painter trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw? How did that impact your childhood and your future as an artist?

BUTTERFANT 24x18 copy
Butterfant

Tomasz:

My mother was always busy with her artwork and in some ways I felt abandoned. But seeing her creativity gave me a strong impulse to create myself and that was furthered by easy access to all the art materials at her studio where I’d hang out. And she certainly gave me a lot of encouragement by being the first admiring critic of my work.

BLUE MARTINI 36x48 copy

Paula:

I understand your father was also quite accomplished winning a bronze medal for the hammer throw in the Olympics. Did your father’s talents have an influence in your works as well?

FIDES CARITAS SPES copy
FIDES CARITAS SPES

Tomasz:

Yes, I’ve always admired my father’s athleticism and he could be said to be my first model. Watching his strength and dynamic movements of the hammer throw was fascinating and probably inspired many of my dynamic compositions. But ironically, he was quite disappointed I chose to follow the arts rather than his legacy.

 

FIGURE STUDY 1 18X24 copy
Figure Study 1

 

Paula:

Your credentials are fascinating. Do you mind telling us a bit about your education?

Tomasz:

I feel a bit over-educated, haha! In my earlier days I was much more interested in the technique than the content. Somehow I got this misguided idea that ALL the modern art is a fraud. That’s why after a semester at Pratt Institute which offered me a grant for what I thought were doodles, I went back to Poland and for years studied how the paintings were made and how to restore them.

 

HIPPOPILION 24x18 copy
Hippolion

 

Paula:

Your expertise in restoration has led you to work with some highly prestigious institutions helping to restore large-scale works at the Smithsonian and the U.S. Treasury Department. That kind of work must be highly rewarding. Did your work in restoration help to shape you in any way as an artist?

Tomasz:

I can’t say I felt extremely rewarded despite the accolades. In the back of my mind I never felt that art conservation was my calling and I found it a bit boring. But yes, it did yield an idea that there is a unique beauty in decay with its historical connotations that I try to convey in some of my artwork.

 

HORSE STUDY 24X21 copy
Horse Study

 

Paula:

Which famous artists do you most identify with? Do you feel any are represented in some way in your works?

Tomasz:

Michelangelo would come to mind with his renditions of the athletic figures and fresco technique, but I’d say I’ve learned from many other classical, figurative artists of the past, borrowing what I found attractive and what I could put together in my own unique interpretations.

 

HYPNOS 54x36 copy
Hypnos

 

Paula:

Your pieces are stunning and the monochromatic palette really allows you to focus on the form. How did you decide upon this element of your design?

Tomasz:

I talk about it in my blog under “Monochromatic painting” https://www.tomaszrutstudio.com/single-post/2017/09/18/Monochromatic-painting

 

MARILYN 36x48 copy
Marilyn

 

Paula:

As a contemporary artist who paints in the classical figurative form, do you find that there are few works today representing this style? Or have more classical figurative artists begun to come on the art scene? Why or why not?

Tomasz:

I don’t see how classical art can ever stop inspiring new artists, even if they are not aware of it.

As a style of its own, it may have lost some of its appeal and commercial value, but new interpretations keep popping up continuously as in the apocalyptic works of Odd Nerdrum and in many other forms that may be considered quite modernistic.

 

SUNSET MOTH 54x40 copy
Sunset Moth

 

Paula:

I read that you prefer to choose objects that project positivity and beauty in your work. Can you talk a bit about your decision to approach your work this way and how you’ve blended this approach with the classics to create your amazing pieces?

Tomasz:

The vast majority of classical art has traditionally celebrated the human form and ability, rather than nullifying it. It’s nothing new and we certainly have enough bad news around us on a daily basis not to give the positive some importance.

 

WELCOME TO VEGAS 100x61 copy
Welcome to Vegas

 

Paula:

Your travels have clearly influenced your works. Do you think you may continue traveling to see works around the world and do you think that will again influence you?

Tomasz:

Wherever I go, I get some ideas that inspire my artwork. There’s not much I haven’t seen in terms of our Western civilization so perhaps it’s time to see something more exotic.

 

IN TONO 17 x 36 copy
In Tono

 

Paula:

What are your plans for the future? What will your studio look like in 10 or 20 years?

Tomasz:

It might look quite different. I’m currently working on a very new group of paintings that are a big departure from my classical style. I call them POP REALISTIC as they blend elements of pop art and photorealism. Please visit my new website: tomaszrutstudio.com

Paula M. Soito
Paula M. Soito

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Paula Soito Arts Row Founder/CEO
ABOUT PAULA SOITO

She is the founder and CEO of Arts Row, Inc. and and an international arts industry writer for Art Market Magazine distributed to Barnes & Noble and universities worldwide.

Paula was recognized as a “top 100 entrepreneur” for Mastermind.com and awarded the partner Impact Award by Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi and Russell Brunson. 

 

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