Thomas Garner Brief Bio and Artist's Statement

Thomas Garner was raised under the glow of Southern California sunshine. He studied art at UCSD at a time when everything was Conceptual and Avant-Garde: Installation Art, Performance Art, Video Art, etc.
Thomas went to do his junior year abroad at the Academia di Belli Arti in Venice. He fell in love with all things Italian, and there was no turning back. Everything was too exciting and too interesting. He learned directly from the great Venetian masters: Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Tiepolo.
His love affair with Italy lasted 24 years where he bought a 17th century home on the beautiful Brenta River that flows into the heart of the Venetian lagoon, married Italian, and had three sons. He built a successful career in the fashion business. He worked as a graphic designer for some of the biggest brands of the time such as Diesel, Benetton, Nordica, and eventually as Creative Director at Replay. He published a book in Italy of his design called Casual Design by Thomas Garner. He was a member of the Italian art group, Gruppo Tata, founded by renowned artist/designer Ennio Chiggio. During this period he worked on many portrait commissions among which were Princess Stephanie of Monaco and her children and Eros Ramazzotti and his family.
He was later repatriated to Los Angeles by Lucky Brand as Art Director. He currently works freelance, designing graphics for such clients as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and John Fogerty. He teaches at UCLA Extension Classical Painting in the Style of the Venetian Masters among other classes, and at the Kline Academy. He has exhibited widely from Milan to Los Angeles. See his website at: and YouTube channel Thomas Garner.
Current Paintings (excerpt from a show of his Urban Paintings)
These paintings were conceived as a “drive-by” snapshot collage of LA. The drive-by blur is expressive of movement, and hence time. The “drive-thru” view is expressive of recurrent memory, in this case, diaphanous, ephemeral space compressed like shiny reflections on glass surfaces. Garner has painted a multiplicity of signs, both literal and metaphorical of our wonderful multi-everything sunset city.
This new body of Urban Paintings is actually embedded in work he started many years ago, inspired by Classical Venetian painting and the school where he studied. That work was about Art and Art history and how we see Art through the perceptual and cultural filters of representation and presentation (paintings of pictures of paintings in museums.)
In this new work the cultural filter is Photoshop, a digital palimpsest that can leave residual traces of what came before, the layering of one image over another. Classical oil painting is all about glazing, scumbling and varnishing transparent layers so that what is underneath is never completely lost. The surface thus becomes rich, dense, and glassy with a great sense of depth. This Urban work tries to bridge these old and new technologies.
These paintings are on denim as opposed to linen or cotton canvas because it is more appropriate to the urban subject matter. They are masked off at the edges and sometimes silhouetted to give the sense of something cutout from reality, stolen or expropriated. They are layered, glazed and varnished in the manner of classical painting.
Garner’s painting style started out as photo-realist, but with time he learned the craft of the masters, so that now he is able to create a unified mechanism between technique and content, painting about painting.
University of California, San Diego, Visual Arts.
Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Italy, Painting.
California State Scholarship for study in exchange program at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice.
Painter and sculptor.
Member of Italian art group. “Arte Ludica. Tata”. 1980-83.
Marble sculpture, casting, screen printing. Portraiture.
Mural work in Paris, 1991.
Industrial and graphic designer in Italy since 1979 and Los Angeles since 2000.
Worked primarily in fashion for Replay in Italy and as Director of Graphic Design at Lucky Brand, and also designs for Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Billy Joel and others. Currently freelancing.
Internationally published illustrator.
Experimental and commercial film animation.
1976 Mithras Book Store. La Jolla. Painting and sculpture.
1977 U.C.S.D. Student Gallery. La Jolla. Drawings and paintings.
1980 Casino Municipale. Venezia. Collective research project exhibition.
1982 Galleria Tot. Padova. Tata group show.
1983 Galleria Tot. Padova. Tata group show.
1985 Kunsthaller. Schwabish Gmund. Germany. International Jewelry exhibition.
1985 Galleria I.C.F., Bologna. Tata Group show.
1986 Sala Dei Giganti. Padova. “Rassegna Nazionale di Poesia”, Personal Show, Paintings.
1987 new paintings at the “Terra ai Confini” show in Montagnana, Italy.
1987 Galleria Intimo, Padova, Paintings and illustrations.
1991-92 Padova “Biennale del Bronzetto”. Group show.
1993 “Progetto Logos Cornici and Pittori”, Accademia di Romania, Rome, Venice, Bucarest, Capri.
1996 “Painting of Pictures and Picturing Things”, Iperspazio, Milan
2001″Terre e Acqua”, San Donà di Piave, Italy. Group Show
2003 “Recent Paintings” Brewery, Los Angeles
2006 “Omaggio a Tiepolo”, Frank Pictures Gallery, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica.
2007 Recent Paintings, Continental Gallery, Los Angeles.
2007 Higgins Gallery, Los Angeles. Group Show
2007 Bobbie Greenfield Gallery. Group Show
2010 Bert Green Fine Arts
2011 Kim Keiler Gallery, Santa Barbara
2012 Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena. Juried show.
2013 Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena. Juried show.
2014 SOA BOA Gallery, West Hollywood. Group Show
2014 “American Classic”, Prohibition Gallery, Culver City
2014 Marcas gallery, Santa Ana
2015 Artshare, Los Angeles
2015 LampeRouge Gallery, Los Angeles
2015 "Visions LA '15, Bergamot, Los Angeles
2016 "Office Hours", Beta Main Museum, Los Angeles
2016 Bert Esenherz loft shows, Los Angeles
2016 "60 Artists" Makeshift Museum. Los Angeles
2017 Fabric Magazine guest artist, Beverly Hills
2017 "Contemporary Masters" FM Fine Gallery, Los Angeles,
2017 "Pages from a Sketchbook" Rebecca Molayem Gallery, Los Angeles
2017 "Fugitive Spirit", District Gallery, DTLA
2017 "Personal Vacation" 825 Gallery LAAA, West Hollywood
2018 Featured artist Billis Gallery, Culver City 
2018 Castelli Art Space, Los Angeles, Group show 
2018 Delson Gallery, Los Angeles, Group show 
2018 Laurent Gallery, Los Angeles, Group show 
2018 CAC show "Hint of Light", Altedena, Group show 
2019 Castelli Art Space, Los Angeles "Car Show" Featured Artist
2019 TRAC conference, Ventura.
2019 Billis Gallery, Los Angeles, Group show 
2021 Art Beyond Survival, Group show, Art District Downtown LA
2022 Art Beyond Survival, Group show, Art District Downtown LA
Included in: research and exhibition catalogue. L’Utilita’ Scolpita Ovvero la Forcola Veneziana. (Venezia, 1980): Tata. Arte Ludica catalogues 1-5, (PADOVA. 1982-5): Rassegna Nazionale di Poesia catalogue, (Padova. 1986): Art review on Italian television, Nov. 1986. Annuals: Illustratori Italiani 2; Omnibook 3. Illustrations regularly published nationally and internationally. Commercial animation for Italian broadcast. Painting monograph with introduction by Manlio Brusatin, Paintings of Pictures, 1996. Hardcover monograph of fashion graphic design work, Casual Design by Thomas Garner, published 2000. Websites: and
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