We had the good fortune of connecting with Atom St. George and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Atom, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Painting makes me happy. Many moments in my life are a pure struggle as I am wheelchair-bound from multiple sclerosis at age 36. Once I start painting, all my hardships become a source of inspiration.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I did not start taking art seriously until my good friend passed away on my 21st Birthday while he was stationed in Iraq while serving in the Marines. At age 24, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which caused me to quit my ultrasonic inspector job and start taking foundational art classes at Otis College Of Art & Design, where I would ultimately learn to paint. For the last 12 years, I’ve used painting to silence the worries of my future and to cope with a disabled day-to-day life. With my work, I strive for a balance between the chaos and the detailed to the humorous and the horrendous. The ultimate goal is to bring a smile or a chuckle to the viewer.
My transformative art imparts a sense of bold surrealism with vivid tonality, dynamic compositions, and raw emotion. I essentially turn paint splatters and smears into creatures and otherworldly psychedelic realms. I’ve explored dreamlike symbolism for several years through richly detailed, highly complex objects and patterns. I’ve had a real breakthrough where I am no longer focused only on processing the trauma of MS but on exploring and celebrating the process. My vision and technique express lucid imagination and a richly detailed palette in an unprecedented period of world disruption.
Additionally, I paint with hands that are numb and tingly, which requires me to brace one with the other when I am painting any detail. I imagine my art will become more abstract as my disease progresses.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Here are a few of my favorite spots in the city to explore – especially the art scene!
1. Hive Gallery
2. Griffith Observatory
3. LA County Museum of Art
4. Garage Gallery
5. Getty Museum
6. Venice Beach Boardwalk
7. Santa Monica Pier
8. Music venues on the sunset strip! (The Roxy + The Whiskey A Go Go)
9. A cruise down Mulholland Drive!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out to my Dad, Dennis St. George for being my biggest supporter. He has encouraged and supported me in every which way since the start. Anytime I finish a painting he is the first person I show. Making my Dad proud has always been a priority. At my old house, he had gallery track lighting installed in the hallways that had a light focused on each piece of art. My Dad is a legend.