Tom Long: Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill

Released Tuesday, June 12, 2012

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Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill, by Tom Long.
15% of the sale of this print goes to Computers for Youth.

Tom Long lives in Brooklyn and works as an art restorer. Tom grew up in Texas and received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. He has since been aimlessly biking around Brooklyn, honing his craft, and trying to give meditation a go.

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About the print:
Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill is a tip of the hat to Iain M. Banks, who's science fiction I enjoy. Lightly Seared on the Reality Grill is the name of a spaceship in one of his books. His spaceships have these neat engines that exist and operate in a fifth dimension as well as 4D space-time. I think Phillip Dick said something to the effect that fiction is about "what if?" and science fiction is about "my God, what if?!". Anyways, the point is that these engines kind of conceptually make sense, but they are fantastical and ultimately non-visualizable. And in fact, we are discovering that many aspects of reality are non-visualizable, from subatomic phenomena to the warping of space-time. So I liked the idea of illustrating one of these impossible engines.

This print is available in multiple sizes. It was digitally signed by the artist. The 11x14 prints are numbered by The Working Proof, and the 20x16 prints come with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Learn more here.


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What has inspired you recently?
I'm inspired by music, fresh air, kicking back with my friends, the visual culture of NYC and the world, and learning/re-learning new things. Every couple of years I re-read The Conscious Universe and try to get anyone with physics-nerdish impulses to check it out.

Why did you choose to pair with Computers for Youth with your print?
I chose to work with Computers for Youth because education and access to technology gives people a window to a larger world than they might not otherwise be exposed to. Computers for Youth is also a local organization here in NYC.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Art can make the world around you more pleasurable, tie a living room together, etc, though these effects might fall short of transformative. The process of art making can be therapeutic; language is a limited system and art can be a powerful tool for expressing inner states that transcend words. I think visual art as a perceived object can have its greatest effect in the quiet, personal exchange between the viewer and the work, where the work itself is co-created and the viewer's reality is broadened/deepened. At best, this aesthetic experience can engender an open-hearted attitude. I think this is a rare thing, and unfortunately, lots of people are shut out of this uncommon experience because of circumstance or personal lack of interest.

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If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I'm a big Hokusai fan (not literally, harhar), but he had such creative longevity and vitality. He pursued the Japanese conception of excellence all his life, constantly fleeing his reputation and staying hungry. He also ran a studio, which required him to be a mix of creator, producer, mentor, and manager.

Who are some artists you think people should know about?
Carl Baratta
Cindy Daignault
Deirdre O'Dwyer
Nathan Gwynne
Jessica Hargreaves
Joseph Phillips
Kristy Caldwell

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