Originally published for HOPE ST.
If you’ve ever tried to visualize a psychedelic time warp – and let’s face it, haven’t we all – then it probably looked a little something like Nick Thomm’s art. Combining the historic with the futuristic, Melbourne-born artist Thomm experiments with past, present and future, fusing different cultural elements to form some of the trippiest, next-level shit you’ll ever see.
— When did you first get into art? Can you remember the first piece you created?
— I think the first piece I remember making had quotes from all my favourite bands all over it – my career would be over if anyone saw that.
— Is there any one piece you’ve created that made you think ‘this really represents my style’?
— I think the Hercules and Bacchus works for my first show were a real turning point for me. They definitely aren’t my best works, but I think at the time they were exploring what I thought was possible with new media – especially considering the scale of the pieces.
— You often juxtapose the past and the future in your work – is that something that you’re interested in, modernising old ideas and presenting your own take on them?
— Definitely. I think it’s about giving new context to things that are so iconic that they’ve almost been stripped of their original meaning and identity. If you can change the way people perceive a certain object or visual that they already connect with, the result can be really powerful.
— Working between Melbourne and New York, what do you find to be the main differences in the art scenes of each city?
— I suppose they’re almost opposites. I sort of see Melbourne as my place to chill and focus on new ideas and just be immersed in my projects, and New York as the place where I go to execute most of my ideas and find inspiration.
— You work across a number of different platforms with your physical artwork, your studio and the magazine. Are there any other areas you would like to try your hand at working in?
— I’ve always loved making music – I’m just not good at finishing songs. I make a beat or write a part and then leave it forever. I actually used to be in a band with Nick Murphy [Chet Faker], but he did all the hard work, obviously.
— What’s your year shaping up to be like?
— I’m about to head back to the US. I’m doing an installation at the opening of Richard Branson’s new Virgin Hotel in Chicago and following up on a few projects in LA. Then I will be back out to New York for a while working on some new stuff.