Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Live and lose

Tom Judd brings together the past, present and future

Express Staff Writer

?Yellow Bird? by Tom Judd. Oil on collage on panel at the Anne Reed Gallery.

Philadelphia based artist Tom Judd has been a working collage artist for the last 30 years. He claims his heart always lies in the west as he grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. Judd has spent a great deal of time out west and has a particular fondness for Idaho.

Judd was sent topographical maps used for references during the Castle Rock Fire that he incorporated into some of his latest work. Not having a large amount of time to complete his pieces for his show at the Anne Reed Gallery in Ketchum, Judd managed to have the work done and delivered in time for his opening on Friday, Oct. 12.

"I do my best work when I am pressed into service, and I do it very quickly," Judd said. "In the way I do it, it's loose and has a spontaneity to it. I call it expediency. I do it, and don't think much about it."

Judd recalled a trip he took on the Salmon River a year ago during a fire. From the riverbank he watched the fire exploding trees along the ridges.

"I am not going to do anything literal," Judd said. "I did some deer at night that reminded me of how I felt after the fire. My collage work is all about loss. I really think that life is about what you lose because you do lose everything eventually, and that is the nature of things."

Judd's work also reflects his notion about found objects and accidental associations. He described his pieces as like looking at billboards when the old billboard information is exposed with the new billboard.

"There's a weird poetry to it," Judd said. "Especially when looking at billboards in third world countries where they have to recycle. It's not in a down way, but that kind of real longing and relationship with the past."

Judd said he is always experimenting and will work on developing ten pieces at once in a whole group. He said that eventually his paintings tell him what to do.

"You have to become a listener and see what a painting wants," Judd said. "I have been doing a series, which is part of this show, and I have sold a group of ten paintings in Toronto. Ultimately, I like selling installations."

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