Gerald Peters Gallery Contemporary

Gerald Peters Contemporary is pleased to present Little People / Big Picture, an exhibition of works from the last decade by American realist painter Tom Birkner. New Jersey-born Birkner has focused on capturing the world around him––the working-class suburbs and sprawl of post-industrial America. While formally trained, Birkner’s practice began early, as he closely observed football games, malls excursions, amusement parks visits, and the other diversions of everyday life in the suburbs. He says, “I like painting things that appear visually as people see the world. I find subjects for painting in vignettes and scenarios that occur by accident.”

Birkner is less concerned with social and cultural interpretation than with representing the vitality of memory, nostalgia, and perception. As David Cohen states, “Mr. Birkner’s sharply observed, chromatically inventive, compositionally ambitious social scenes have a slow-burning sexuality that rhymes with the bluesy resignation of the depressed town, threatening freeway encounters and proletarian amusements he depicts.”

The works of Little People / Big Picture are akin to portraits, eliminating the contextualizing environments that have defined Birkner’s work to date. Football fans, concert-goers, disco dancers, and other everyday figures are rendered on small-scale, individual canvases, unified only by complimenting color values. The resulting iconography elevates individuals while subtly emphasizing the quotidian commonalities that unite them––and the society they make up together.


							

									Tom Birkner									Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020									oil on canvas<br />
dimensions vary

Tom Birkner

Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020
oil on canvas
dimensions vary

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									Tom Birkner									Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020									oil on canvas<br />
dimensions vary

Tom Birkner

Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020
oil on canvas
dimensions vary

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Little People/Big Picture got started in in 2010, more or less as an experiment in using only the figures to express meaning. No settings. No scenes. The simplification seemed to make the paintings more immediate, more direct, more iconographic.

Tom Birkner


							

									Tom Birkner									Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020									oil on canvas<br />
dimensions vary

Tom Birkner

Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020
oil on canvas
dimensions vary

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									Tom Birkner									Little People / Big Pictre 2010-2020									oil on canvas<br />
dimensions vary

Tom Birkner

Little People / Big Pictre 2010-2020
oil on canvas
dimensions vary

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									Tom Birkner									Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020									oil on canvas<br />
dimensions vary

Tom Birkner

Little People / Big Picture 2010-2020
oil on canvas
dimensions vary

INQUIRE