We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas Whittaker Kidd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas Whittaker, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
My whole family is from, Fall River, Massachusetts. They emigrated to Fall River from Quebec, Canada, Ireland and Northern England in the second half of the nineteenth century. My mother grew up in the Sunset Hill Housing Projects in the Southend of Fall River and she moved me and my brother there when I was 7 to avoid the wrath of my father. Some characters at Sunset Hill were trying to teach me the ways of petty crime which seemed to be an interesting alternative way of existing but not a very effective means of income. Also, my being a daydreamer made me incompatible with the attention needed for this occupation. At age 14, I worked for my father in construction and found myself spending much of my time with old philosophical alcoholics and sensitive ex-convicts. All this seemed normal to me until I found myself at Parent Teacher Night at a private high school talking to parents about their kids that I taught art to. Their stories seemed mostly idilic but many had underbellies of struggle within their homes. These experiences fertilized my interest in anyones person story. Certainly, my stepfather who entered my life in my later childhood had a major impact on me. He was a french literature professor and a jewish man of color. He and my Mother added to my interest in unique personal stories, as well as the political ideas aligned with them. My artwork reflects mine and others’ personal stories. My work is energized by an element of humor which I find powers many peoples’ common pursuits of joy and safety.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Characters In my work seek common human desires of wanting excitement, joy, and peace or security, especially in the unstable environment of American culture. I strive to dismantle fears to flush out these desires by representing in the immediacy of paint actions, places that put you into a playful state of joy in my Giddy Post-Dystopia. I think of my work as an initiator and a place where sharing thoughts, stories and laughs becomes a natural response. I choose to work on scenarios where desire powers an expansion of consciousness creating a totally inclusive version of the Great Society Lyndon B Johnson proposed. With these thoughts in mind, my inner playground introduces you to characters bent on progressive pleasure. Illuminated by joy they trigger an expanded sense of possibilities. These new history paintings point to better results after the battles. You will be able to see my work in solo and group gallery exhibitions in LA and other cities in the US & Europe in 2021. For updates see https://www.instagram.com/thomaswhittakerkidd/ and thomaswhittakerkidd.com
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Live music and drinks; Silver lake Lounge, in Silver Lake.’ Cinema Bar in Culver City on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night is a good bet. The King Eddy, and The Redwood Bar & Grill, both are Downtown. The Coop Pizza, 10006 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034 This is the best New York pizza in town. Owner are from Long Island, NY BADMAASH Downtown LA. This is an Indian gastro pub. Visit art galleries listed on https://curate.la/ and http://whatsonlosangeles.com/
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Dedicated to my mother, Anne Marie Kamm.
Other: artsy.net/artist/thomas-whittaker-kidd https://santamonica.bgartdealings.com/thomas-whittaker-kidd-fantastic-settings-real-events/