Tom Polo was born in 1985 and lives and works in Sydney. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) and Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. Since 2007, Polo has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around Sydney as well as in Melbourne, Brisbane and London.Read More
His practice was initially inspired by an incident in 2009, in which he noticed a tattoo on the back of a passenger on a bus. This experience is demonstrative of Polo's preoccupation with text in his work that is largely inspired by observations of the everyday. For years he has observed exchanges and conversations that occur on public transport on which he spends much of his time. The result is colourful and playful works that, through the juxtaposition of text and image, make a social commentary on contemporary issues.
He has been a finalist in the Fishers Ghost Art Award, the Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, The Blake Prize and Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship and the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship. In 2011 he was the recipient of the Art & Australia / Credit Suisse Private Banking Contemporary Art Award. Polo has undertaken residencies at Queen Street Studios (at Fraser Studios), Parramatta Artists Studios, The Lockup Cultural Centre, Newcastle and the Australia Council’s London Studio. His work has been collected by Artbank, Terrace Towers Group and private collectors in Australia, the UK and USA.
In literary criticism, the term Bildungsroman refers to a coming of age novel. The protagonist learns a lesson, undergoes a transformation and grows up. They are stories where sentiment conflicts with authority, and we love them because they question our foundations and because we were all kids, once. ‘Emerging’ is the art...
The House of Voltaire, the biennial art, design and fashion pop-up, usually has its digs in swanky Mayfair, London, but for the next eight days it has taken over one of Melbourne's most iconic shopfronts – the former Le Louvre boutique on Collins Street.