Thomas Cone

Thomas ConeArtist Statement

Growing up in rural Tennessee, I didn’t think much about art. For most people I know back home, artwork is appreciated for its aesthetic, something to be seen, not touched or discussed. Coming to college, I was informed that art must have intention and deeper meanings. Yet, I was also met with the same level of linear thinking the “deplorables” (as some of the “educated” call them) back home have when it comes to multiple perspectives. I strive to break the lines of “right” and “wrong” by making art that anyone can enjoy. I value all opinions of my work, regardless of the amount of artistic experience you have, to me a soccer mom’s amazement in a picture is just as important as an art critic’s review. I came to college with zero training in the arts. My only experience with visual art was when my grandmother would hand me her camera to capture the beautiful things around us at a young age. Being raised in a world of imagination, I struggle to agree with the hierarchy of art and the standards and limitations used to define what art is.

I am a storyteller, but not a traditional one.

I imagine the world through shades, shapes, and sounds rather than words. Art acts as my platform to speak. With technology, I can use the digital world to express what I see through colors, textures, beats, and lines. By abstracting snapshots of the world, the story becomes open-ended; I shape and make different things that other people can resonate with. I believe that none of my photos can stand alone, instead they each serve in completing the story. Over time, I will be amassing more photos into this project and creating more interactive parts to my series. With these projects, I am inviting people to step onto the art and immerse themselves into a little vignette that I am creating. This colorful and abstract world allows people to awaken their inner child and use their imagination. Making these photos abstract allows for people to view them differently and to create their own world inside of the scene I have provided for them. These photos are just the starting point to creating a bigger and more performative world that viewers can enter and be taken to their daydreams.