Reality is often the palette of fiction; fantasy is often the reflection of our own lives, as they are and as we wish they were. In a sense, the theater ends only where imagination allows it.
From the mind of Tom Sarmo comes The Endless Stage, a solo exhibit of character-driven artwork created over the last three years which straddles the boundaries of illustration and fine art, history and modernity, humor and introspection.
Sarmo’s work has garnered a beloved reputation for its unique aesthetic and peculiar interpretations of his ever expanding cast of characters, critters, and settings. The work includes curious animals anthropomorphized into potent personalities, creatures friendly and unsettled that seem to have emerged from the fey forests of folk mythology, and lavishly illustrated borders that both contain and expand each artwork into a story told at a glance.
The Endless Stage is an examination of the subtle, theatrical undercurrents which drive our humanity. In Sarmo’s mind, we all play characters in a world without limitations, exaggerated as if to fulfill a role in a grand story stretching across time and culture, inhabiting wondrous worlds that see the magical in the mundane. People are envisioned as lovable birds dressed in three piece suits, grumpy gnomes strolling paths of greenery, peculiar witches and wizards with otherworldly companions, each bending and contorting as if peering through a lens to another world.
There’s a carefully measured innocence in Tom’s work that blends elements inspired by everything from the middle ages and turn of the century Victorian stylings with Muppet-like creatures and unusual takes on landscapes which evoke unexpected, intuitive fairy tales told in paint and ink.
Each day, the show continues, the setting expands, and new characters make their entrances and exits on The Endless Stage.
Receptions: Opening Reception, June 14 (6-10pm); First Friday Artwalk, July 7 (6-10pm). All receptions are free and open to the public including complimentary food and beverage.
More information available at www.helikongallery.com.