My paintings are loud and proud. The use of design in my work is often ambiguous with shifting perspectives, non-local color, and an emphasis on the absurd. I create environments, which immerse the viewer into a world of creatures that rehearse a frenzy of dramatic situations: floors tilt up, ceilings down, colors scream, belching a cacophony of sounds with visual puns.
Influenced by the Persian miniatures, The Hairy Who, and Mesoamerican art, I commune with these works on a personal and visual level. The fetish nature of their design, and use of horror vaccui, empowers a freedom for expression beyond western tradition.
It is my goal to create a body of work that engages the viewer to curiously explore, and to experience a visual and private interpretation.
Professor Thom Whalen holds an associate of arts degree from LLCC, a bachelor of arts in studio/art history from Eastern Illinois University, and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Kansas. He joined the LLCC faculty in 2001. He is also a studio artist and freelance graphic designer. He has designed signage, exhibits and promotions for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, and clients such as Planet Hollywood, Extra TV, Hard Rock Hotel and Las Vegas casinos.