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b. 1985, Australia

Tom Polo Biography

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. 

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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.
 

installation view, Tom Polo, Gareth Sansom, Jenny Watson: A Painting Show, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (3 – 19 December 2020). photo: Luis Power

Tom Polo Featured Artworks

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fear of intimacy (hibiscus hand) by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom Polofear of intimacy (hibiscus hand), 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
182 x 138 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
floral footsteps by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom Polofloral footsteps, 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
182 x 138 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
determined to disappear by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom Polodetermined to disappear, 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
213 x 182 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
Magic Man (Optical Illusion) by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom PoloMagic Man (Optical Illusion), 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
60 x 50 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
facial footsteps by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom Polofacial footsteps, 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
60 x 50 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
space invaders (one blue arm) by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom Polospace invaders (one blue arm), 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
60 x 50 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
watch and wait (angel ears) by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom Polowatch and wait (angel ears), 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
198 x 213 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery
waiting to watch by Tom Polo contemporary artwork
Tom Polowaiting to watch, 2020acrylic and Flashe on canvas
182 x 138 cm
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Contact Gallery

Tom Polo Current & Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, A Painting Show at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Open Now
3–18 December 2020 Group Exhibition A Painting Show Roslyn Oxley9 GallerySydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Dale Frank, Fiona Hall, Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, Tom Polo, Sydney Contemporary 2020 at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Online Only, Sydney
Closed
1–31 October 2020 Dale Frank, Fiona Hall, Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt, Tom Polo Sydney Contemporary 2020 Roslyn Oxley9 GalleryOnline Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Tom Polo, I still thought you were looking at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Closed
18 April–11 May 2019 Tom Polo I still thought you were looking Roslyn Oxley9 GallerySydney

Tom Polo In Ocula Magazine

Great Expectations: Emerging Australian Art Ocula Feature Great Expectations: Emerging Australian Art By Stella Rosa McDonald, Sydney

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...

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Tom Polo In Related Press

House of Voltaire brings luxe pop-up with a cause to Melbourne's Le Louvre Related Press House of Voltaire brings luxe pop-up with a cause to Melbourne's Le Louvre 19 July 2016, The Sydney Morning Herald

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.

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7 new artworks by Tom Polo have recently been added to Ocula. Sign up to be among the first to know when new works become available.

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