Interview With Thom Thom

 French urban artist,  Thom Thom, has been taking Parisian billboards and transforming them into art since 2000. He is inspired by the French artist Jacque Villeglé, well known for his technique of décollage, the opposite of collage, whereby parts are ripped away from posters. Also by the Lettrists, an experimental movement established in Paris in the ’40’s,  and the Situationists,  a revolutionary group based on Marxist ideas.

Thom Thom, real name Thomas Schmitt, is a master of using a blade as his artistic tool. Geometrical forms are cut into posters,  layer by layer, creating a mosaic of old consumerist images. Precise forms appear as if Thom Thom could be able to imagine what was in the background, from which he teases out textures and colours to create harmony in each piece.

Today you selected for MoW 2 of your artworks inspired by music. Can you tell MoW why you selected those. What was the music that inspired those artworks? How did music inspire them?

These are portraits of Lana Del Rey for a H&M commercial I visually sampled with underneath layers of former commercial posted before.

The Music Industry as a part of the Culture Industry inspires my work a great deal. I think there is a part of admiration even in the most radical criticism. I pay homage to the star-music-system every time I cut into it.  

How long does it take you to make an artwork ?

Hours, days...

Why is music important to you and your art?

It's the key of concentration even if I mostly work in "street silence". Repetitive music (Philip Glass) can help me focus from time to time.

Do you listen to music when you’re working ? If so what kind of music?

I choosed to listen only Sebastien Tellier music when preparing my february 2013 show. I wanted the show "Archéology" to be coherent so I decided to do so. After that I met him by pure chance on a TV studio ( I used to see him 15 years ago when I was part of Mr OIZO's entourage).

I choose to make my stuff on "la Ritournelle".

Watch Thom Thom interviewed by Sébastien Folin on Au LaBÔ :

Do you have plans on creating new artworks insipired by music ?

why not ;)

What is the song you liked the most lately? Or album ?

Major Lazor's Get Free saved my life last year.

Right now, I'm really into this 1983 tune " Deux - Game And Performance"

Funny enough the first french electro wave (1980-1983) sounds better than the electroclash one 2000-2003 (Miss Kittin) . But I can change my mind in 2 weeks !

What was the last gig you went to?

I hope to see FAUVE in May at the Bataclan (I live just a block away)

(youtube thinks its hard porn lol ! )

Are you a musician yourself ? If so can you tell MoW more about your music projects ?

 Not a musician but time to time, I write lyrics for my kids, for fun


Follow Thom Thom here :