Meet Tom Porta: the «Dark Knight» of Contemporary Art
He creates extraordinary paintings by using his paint brush and by colouring the initially white cloth. I think he’s an artistic genius, whose talent has also been observed by Piero Chiambretti, an Italian TV shows’ host, who wanted Porta to be the guest of his famous TV program: Chiambretti Market. If you don’t know him, you just need to know he’s one of the most capable Italian artists.(?)
Hi Tom, I discovered you thanks to Chiambretti’s show. Tell us about your joint work with him.
I was contacted by his entourage; he had seen my works before that and was already looking for a chance to collaborate.
First of all, he told me he didn’t want me to be a “character” and all I had to do was be absolutely myself.
He usually defines me like the contemporary art Batman…
I’m not going to pose you the usual question about how your love towards art was born, because you were obviously born with this talent. By the way, I want to ask you this question: you know, the truth is that, in Italy, it’s really hard to live on art, so how could you make it? Are you into another kind of business to help your survival?
Painting has been my full time occupation already for ten years; before, I was keen on photography. Now, I also collaborate with many design projects (Aces High, HPM, Aces Design), but painting always comes before everything.
Which is the most frequently employed technique in your works?
Painting acrylic on cloth – sometimes also on paper.
Only who can make an enigma out of the solution is an artist. Your manners seem to be simple, you have long hair… It seems like you don’t want others to pay attention to you but rather your works. In addition, when the host asks for the price of one of your paintings you never answer. Why?
My appearance is not related to my works, which are the most important thing. As far as the evasiveness is concerned, it’s part of a prank between me and Chiambretti.
Art only teaches the sense of life. Often important meanings are hidden behind your works. Do you think art, in every shape, could change the world?
If not the world, I guess it can change the way people think and people themselves.
If a boy falls for painting while admiring a canvas, or if you decide to enlist driven by a song of your favourite band, somehow you managed to change the world.
At one point in all my interviews I always ask this question: when I look myself in the mirror, I always tell myself «imagine the person you want to become and follow the steps, which will lead you to become that person». What about you? Have you already managed becoming that person or are you still trying to achieve that aim?
I’ve always been the one I wanted to be. I’ve never been acting like someone I’m not.
Once, Pablo Picasso said: «Art is the fabrication that allows us to get to the truth» Do you agree with this quote? What does art mean to you? Is it something essential, like your own life, or is it more similar to something you’re just particularly good at that you can sacrifice?
The quote by Picasso is more likely to be a catchphrase borrowed by a great actor.
First of all, art is a way to express ourselves, and then it can become a trade, an evolution, or a way to follow.
Art should never become an excuse to allow ourselves arrogance or laxity towards others.
Also, it’s a really hard work at which few people are good and fewer are the honest ones.
Are you surrounded by many friends, or do you purposely prefer few people close to you that you can trust blindly?
There aren’t many people sharing my affection; but I do know many other ones and, also, I do associate with them; although I’m not superficial as far as relationships are concerned.
I really thank you Tom for having allowed me to interview you. I’m proud of introducing one of the greatest Italian talents.
Interview by Francesco Cilidonio of Cily Hairstylist.
Translated by Denise Baglioni.