Tom Lohner, an energetic Austrian artist and rising star in the art world famous for his imaginative depiction of pop culture, believes that the single most important ingredient in any artistic process is passion. Lohner’s painting style is a refreshing combination of the traditional medium of acrylic colors and futuristic aesthetics, achieved by a certain cyberpunk and post-apocalyptic twist. The artist doesn’t shy from neon colors or well as earthy tones, such as electric blues and violets, paired with appealing geometrical patterns, which are basically made to be worn by movie stars. The additional magic ingredient that binds everything together is powerful post-industrial music movement.
Hi Tom, today you selected for Music On Walls several of your artworks inspired by music.
Can you tell MoW why you chose to create artworks inspired by music?
Well, actually all pieces I create are music inspired or at least feature lyrics of songs that fit to the theme; as you might know I am a massive fan of typography. In this particullar case the Hard Rock Cafe Corporation bundeled up with me - together we came up with a 10 piece series of rock/pop stars that transform into animals. All of them captured just in the moment of transformation. I show the moment where they are not human and not animal, something in between. I am a huge fan of Hard Rock (Cafe) therefore it was easy and an honor to do this with them! Come'on - visualizing what you listen to?! "WhataFUNtastic task!"
Further the mutation into "wild" animals stands for the energy and power of great Rock N Roll songs. Basically the feeling of listening to something GREAT and beautiful for the first time! Remember what it felt like when listening to Nine Inch Nails "The Hand That Feeds You", or Marilyn Manson's "S(AINT)"? I want people to feel the same way when looking at my art for the first time! I want to make them get off on this while still giving them a deeper story with it, just as good songs do.
Why did you choose these singers/musicians for your artworks?
All of them touched me in some way. Some of them I grew up with listening to permanently and of course I had to use celebrities that are well known by the wide audience of Hard Rock Cafe. Unfortunately (this time) I couldn't go for Billy Corgan, Rob Zombie or Corey Taylor. Next time!
What are your favorites songs of theses musicians?
(hard to choose only 1!)
"Feed my Frankenstein" - Alice Cooper "Army of Me" - Björk
"The Fly" - U2 (Bono) "Call Me" - Blondie
"Hella Good" - No Doubt "If I Could Fall In Love" - Lenny Kravitz
"Birds Of Hell Awaiting" - Marilyn Manson "Empty" - Garbage
What is your favorite piece between the ones presented today?
The Alice Cooper piece. (see right)
Is there any other specific words you’d like to say about the artworks presented today?
I could write a book about the series, but to make it short:
"In my own and personal way I wanted to capture the essence of Rock N Roll music" (if that is possible in any way)
Why is music important to you, in your life and in your art?
I don't think my art would be as colorful and crazy as it is if it wasn't for or with the help of music! I can not paint properly without listening to music - that's my kick!
Are you a musician ?
Also, back in the days I almost became a professional drummer. I played in three rock/metal bands, we even had a song on the radio with one of them :-) Having said that - YES - music is a major part of my life! (again, I could write a book on this question).
Do you have plans on creating new artworks inspired by music/musicians ?
Of course! However my focus currently is somewhere else as I just finished this 10 piece edition of music dedicated art. But yes, I am sure you will find music relevant elements in every piece I will paint in the future!
Can you tell Mow more about your techniques and how long does it takes you to make an artwork?
Sure! I have no secrets. Actually I give something like mini "Bob Ross" shows on my Instagram page where I explain my technique every day on various pieces I work on. Basically it's acrylic on canvas or wood, but I love to collage or mount other surfaces on to my background such as wallpaper, newspaper, old book covers, disks (old PC material), etc... it just adds a whole other dimension to the art piece! I then paint over the entire thing in numerous layers making people curious about what lies beneath; I even painted over 100 years old litography printing plates. Occasionally I also use oil paint to generate highlights and special effects. When all is done, I varnish the piece with a glossy laquer flat to not only preserve it for ever (hopefully) but further it enhances the effects created before and adds not only contrast but value. Aaaaahhh... there is so much to think about and still for me there is so much to learn! You never stop learning, don't you think so too?
Duration is totally dependent on the piece: From 2 days to 5 weeks. Depending on size and details I put into. For the Hard Rock pieces I put in about 3 weeks for each piece.
Do you listen to music when your working ?
ALWAYS! And I listen to everything. Mostly energetic and POWERFUL music! I have a playlist on Spotify I always keep adding tracks to (it consists of ONLY a 100% Tom Lohner approved music). There you will find anything from Sixx:AM, Birds of Tokyo, Bush, Orgy, Finch, Alice in Chains, Shihad, Kopek, Korn, Dredg, Filter, Sevendust, Enter Shikari, In this Moment, Pvaris, Young Guns to Nero, Robyn, Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy or even Miguel and sometimes even Banks.
What is the song you liked the most lately?
Holy SHI*! You are killing me here - as there are too many! I need to give you at least two!
"Check My Brain" by Alice in Chains from their album "Black Gives Way to Blue".
I saw them live twice, they were always great (wish I could have seen them with Layne)
"Take a Picture" by Filter from the album: "Title of Record". That song is me.
I saw them live once in London's Forum - incredible - the band and I actually became friends later on.
What was the last gig you went to ?
Last gig I went to was myself being on stage performing a live painting with Cologne's Classical Orchestra (Germany) while they performed Vivaldi's 4 seasons. But I am sure that doesn't count! therefore I must say: Skunk Anansie in Florence.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TOM LOHNER
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