I would consider myself a painter and I am primarily self taught. I enjoy the physical application and the pushing of paint. I hope to bring an awareness to the beauty in things ordinary. I like to notice details that might typically go unnoticed in the day to day. Randomness, history of place, a since of time passing are all are elements in my work. The work is mostly “realistic”. However the subject matter is many times abstract. Texturally, I like to work the surface. The paintings have a quality of sanded or carved wood, soft cotton and sometimes chiseled concrete.
Tom Stem has lived less than a quarter of a mile from the Crosstown Concourse building for over 10 years. Recently he turned his attention to the transformation of the Memphis Tennessee old abandoned Sears building into Crosstown. He has been observing. photographing and painting the cycles of decay and rebirth up close. He is inspired by the changes as the building is transformed into a vertical village and fascinated by the abstract qualities and metaphoric potential of the images. The metaphors of exteriors, interiors, ascending and descending levels of light, pathways, windows and throughways, always playing with the line between 'realism' and 'abstraction' in his work.
To view Stem's other work, landscapes, abstractions, city scapes, see menu above.