100 Creatives 2013: Tomas Glass, Abstract Artist and True Blood Musician
Who: Tomas Glass is an artist and musician gaining some serious ground here in Houston. His visual work is mostly abstract, focusing on a series of off-balanced geometric shapes that tend to hover just above a recurring edge of blackness underneath. Many of his pieces have the uncomfortable feeling of being slight hallucinations or illusions barely obscuring some darker beyond. He also dabbles in mixed-media collages that come across like good Dave McKean covers, if not quite as phantasmagorical.
He's also a rising musician who recently reached a pretty significant milestone, from our perspective. A tune he co-wrote with Kanude called "Wheels" was featured in True Blood two seasons ago in the episode "You Smell Like Dinner." It was exactly as dirty and down-home as you'd expect for the Southern vampire soap opera. His solo work is wonderfully dark Americana that you should definitely check out. Especially since he's giving his first album, Devil in the Dugout, away for absolutely free. His second album, Beautiful Monster, is now available on SoundCloud.
Why He Likes It: "What I enjoy about painting can be broken down into two sections. One is being in the studio, leaving my neurosis at the door, then letting the paintings develop over a time of at least a year. Second is the exchange of ideas and interactions, constructive critical feedback and simply meeting interesting people and making new friends."
What Inspires Him: Glass studied with Henry Couture, who made bald eagle sculptures for U.S. presidents such as Bill Clinton, on his 5,000-acre ranch in Arizona on the border with Mexico. He would sketch for several hours, focusing on the human figure and many different animal forms on the porch that surrounded Couture's adobe home built in the mid-1800s.
While working with Couture, Glass received a scholarship to the Glassell School, but only attended for a year. Later he received the encouragement and support of Wade Wilson, who arranged a show for the emerging artist that helped launch his career. He draws inspiration from Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso and Georges Rouault. Outside of visual artists, he likes writer Nick Flynn and musician Charles Tillman.