10" X 14" edition 35
20" X 30" edition 20
30" X 40" edition 10
50" X 70" edition 5
November 5-December 23, 2016
Tom Tor's creative work is underscored by a desire to communicate ideas in a way that transcends verbal language. As a visual artist, he focuses on critical reflections of human communication, especially consumerism. His work, a complex montage of typography, bold colors, and political and pop iconography, is nonetheless a celebration of the potency of the visual media at the backbone of contemporary culture.
Icons and Innovators is Tor’s homage to figures that have made a great impact on humanity. The works are created by building up layers of symbols and paths—elements of maps—into larger-than-life portraits of our modern icons. Despite their elevation to greatness, their journeys and those of the lives they affected are wholly interdependent. The process of the artist in “mapping” a face symbolizes a collaboration between his subjects and the world at large: the image ceases to represent a lone personality and instead becomes a shared experience.
Tom Tor entered the United States after fleeing the Killing Fields of Cambodia as a child, learning English on the streets and beaches of southern California. Educated at UCLA and Art Center College of Design, Tor has worked in design and as a Creative Director for the past 20 years. He has worked at advertising heavyweights Ogilvy & Mather (NY), TBWA/Chiat Day (LA), McCann Erickson in Tokyo and for over a decade he has helmed his namesake Tom Tor Studio. Currently, Tor is Creative Director at Global Work, one of the largest fashion apparel companies in Japan.
Tom Tor is the recipient of the United Nations Award of Excellence in Geneva, the International Human Rights Award, and Design of Excellence Award and currently resides in Tokyo, Japan.