Thomas Iser was born in 1987 in Metz, France. He is a self-taught performer, photographer and painter and, with his art, he wishes to inspire people to use and channel their suffering in order to accomplish their dreams.
Though best known for his globe-spanning performance art project ‘Universal Humanity’, the French-Luxembourgish artist is also making a name for himself as a painter.
Using acrylic and spray paint on canvas, there is a willful sense of naivety to his works, as Thomas seems to be channeling a childlike exuberance through his playful use of colour and rapid application of paint on the canvas. He is clearly inspired by the energy and swiftness of graffiti art, and his works seem to sit somewhere between a packed wall mural and one of Takashi Murakami’s brimming Superflats. They include many characteristics of both: bright and contrasting block colours, repeat patterns, recurring characters and designs (clouds, flowers, bricks).
On a surface level, the paintings may seem to be unnecessarily chaotic, but closer inspection reveals a wealth of symbolism and menacing tones that undercut the intense colouring. They are deeply layered, with images merging into one another like a palimpsest. There is a dichotomy between the symbols used: for example stylised flowers and butterflies are placed next to skulls with bleeding teeth, the word ‘chaos’ is written in brightly coloured ‘bubble letters’. Such use of visual metaphors to explore issues of life, death, and rebirth must come from a deeply personal place.