An Artistic Sommelier
The Texas Hill Country boasts over 42 wineries with an eclectic mix of palettes and vintages, so it is no wonder why Atlanta based, Photo-Realism Wine painter Thomas Arvid feels right at home when visiting the San Antonio / Hill Country area. March 13 – 15, 2015 marked the two year return of the internationally acclaimed painter to South Texas region with patrons treated to a VIP private preview dinner at Flemings in the Quarry, a Second Saturday Art & Wine event solo spotlight exhibition of giclee works on canvas that included four originals at J.R. Mooney Galleries in Boerne.
Thomas Arvid is a self-taught artist with a signature angular perspective and compositional completeness- glass, bottle, and corkscrew. Arvid proceeds with deliberate off-the-canvas slants that seem to stunt the elements in a seemingly haphazard tipsy aesthetic-an Arvid tilted room effect.
Larger than life wine bottles, corks, and other bar accoutrements can be seen in his distinguished downward still-life perspectives. Picture-perfect painterly renditions capture the hyperrealism studio set-ups that spotlight the reflections on the wine glass, the shimmer of the liquid and metallic silver finishes. Arvid’s obsessively seamless ovals, curves, and ellipses portray the physicalities of these still-lives better than photographs ever could.
Over the past few years Thomas Arvid has celebrated his first museum exhibition, "Arvid: Reflecting the Good Life," at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art in Marietta, Georgia; in addition to boosting a 5 year waiting list on original commissioned oil paintings. Prices on oils on canvas can reach $120,000 to $150,000. Understandably, he works wherever he can, often doing watercolor sketches and paintings on the plane flights as he travels back and forth from California and other wine sponsored events throughout the country.
A newer original titled: “Polishing the Silver” is a Mixed Media Proof on canvas featuring the Silver Oak label, measuring 31 x 60 inches and valued at $10,000.00. Zach Swangstu, Assistant Sales Manager at Thomas Arvid Fine Art, Inc. explains, “A mixed media proof is a giclee on canvas that Thomas has put his brush to, customizing the work of art and in doing so creating a unique masterpiece.
“Polishing the Silver” is a piece that only exists in a few homes across the country and every one of them are different. It’s considered a mixed media because Thomas is using a giclee to start and applies oil to the piece, using different mediums to complete the overall work of art. As opposed to the $125,000 collectors are paying for Thom’s original oil on canvas masterpieces, a mixed media proof valued at $10,000 is attractively priced and still holds the long-term value and collectability as an original, perfect for the Arvid collector who is ready to take their first step into the world of originals.”
Thomas Arvid’s artwork is a contemporary throwback and “tip of the hat” to what Arvid passionately explains as an artistic gesture-inspired by the heyday of hand tinting experimentations of Black and White photography.
Deliberate in his composition, gestural mark-making and subtle but striking color highlights, Arvid knows how to allow the viewer to enter into his lyrically liquor-esque world of art. The multi-media aspects of the newly acquired untitled original can be seen in Arvid’s calculated assertion to reveal the pencil and charcoal layers that would ordinarily be covered in the “Photo-Realist” venture of the painting process. Arvid comments on this decision as a way to express and illustrate a “sure-handedness” of technique and confidence of artistic quality.
Like an artistic Spartan Warrior, Arvid is in proper form, being sure to formulate interrupted lines, skewed angles, and layered perspectives to harmonize the overall gestalt of the work.
Overall and obsessively obvious in his artistic grandeur, Arvid carefully crafts paintings with intervallic lines and non-conforming compositional esplanades; avenues and visual clues that present the viewer with an ability to feel as though they are joining the artist in his own studio, house or dinner table. He wants the audience to have a sense they can metaphysically reach into his painting and pick up the glass and drink the wine or rotate the bottle of wine to read the label; all without feeling self-conscious about an underlying “do not touch” taboo in this often misconstrued and misconceived elitist realm of art and wine.
© Gabriel Diego Delgado