Interview with Tomasz Rut and Modern Luxury Vegas

By Kacie Whitman By Kacie Whitman | February 8, 2023 | Lifestyle Sponsored Post

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Please tell us about your education and first projects.

I got my Masters Degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Conservation of Art in 1986, Warsaw, Poland. The same year I moved to the US and was offered a job at the famed Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. We used the House studio as a base and did numerous, large conservation projects throughout the East Coast. This included Smithsonian Institution, Library of Four Arts in Palm Beach, FL, New Jersey State House, Trenton, NJ and a charming Unitarian Church in Hampton Falls, just to give a few examples.

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Murals have been a traditional art form for centuries if not longer. What led you to devoting your career to figurative paintings like these?

The traditional mural is a “fresco” as we see in all Italian art. My paintings are oils on canvas that imitate that fresco quality. When I saw Pompeiian frescoes upon my trip to Italy, I saw something very special that I was awestruck by: the old, decayed images had a tremendous impact as they were and to me conveyed a very powerful message of old vs new, decay and decomposition vs beauty and structure.

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With a background in mural restoration projects for the Biltmore House and the Smithsonian Institution as well as other prestigious clients, why is it important to specifically preserve these artworks?

I’d let Art Historians answer that question.

Many of your figurative murals appear grand, historic and paint your subject in a powerful, center stage light. How do you approach a new project? Are there any particular details of your subject you enjoy including?

I use cameras and models. The lighting in my studio is rather constant and the backgrounds are invented. My goal is to show an interesting form of a body or bodies. I particularly enjoy painting hands and feet, which are more difficult than faces. Lately, I’ve focused on more complex anatomy like aging faces, covered with scars and wrinkles as in Clint Eastwood's portrait.

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Your artwork has a classical nature with a contemporary touch. How do you balance these two contrasting art phenomenons?

I try to accentuate the contemporary nature of my models and somehow it works. My figures don’t wear classical tunics, but simple cloth. In the last few years, I’ve been painting almost entirely contemporary subject matter, like Pop and Hyperrealism, but even here one can see some reference to the decay and “disturbance” as in wrinkled photos or bubble wrapped animals.

One of my Collections is even named Classics United, where I juxtapose ancient classics with contemporary classical brand names in a humorous way. And another Collection is Classical Pop where antiquity is represented with Pop-art backgrounds.

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Robb Report magazine listed you as one of the most collectible living artists. Why do you think clients/fans appreciate collecting your artwork time again?

I do have many devoted collectors who have multiple paintings and limited editions. I suppose they’re looking for something other than Modern and Abstract art.

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Is there a dream subject you have yet to paint that you would like to in the near future?

I always have new ideas and there’s still plenty of leftover subject matter in the world I’ll stumble upon.

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