My current work emerged in the later 1990s and is an attempt to merge painting and relief woodcarving. The labor intensive aspect of the recent work is intended to be consistent with their content. I am therefore especially influenced by recent trips to India, Egypt, and Europe. I am attempting to avoid the facile, faddish, and superficial aspects of current American art and culture. I would like to think that the wiser and older cultures to which I fortunately have been exposed have helped me towards the more timeless goals of what all art should be about: An art driven by emotional content.

I prefer my work to be experienced rather than explained. Be that as it may, I like Picasso's statement that art is what nature is not. My work attempts to deal with what is not. What is, bores me. What is not is where it's at for me. Therefore, I am interested in sincerity, not irony. My work is strictly apolitical and idealistic. Instead of viewing such a position as an escape from reality, I view it as an exploration of the infinite nature of reality, or to put it into more prosaic terms, my recent work tends towards purely aesthetic, erotic, idealistic considerations. The idea of the picture as a door to a higher state of consciousness appeals to me. Towards that end, my work has numerous visual, cultural, and literary influences. Influences on my work include: everything, nothing, Buddhism, romanticism, irrational mental states, insanity, order, chaos, music, East Indian art, organic patterns, industrial forms, Hinduism, randomness, things with no apparent reason, Alan Watts, Nietzsche, Blake, Beethoven, Bach, Klaus Shultze and others. I prefer the work to be about the work, and not about me. One of my goals is to turn the viewer on to an expanded view of themselves.

Tom Cramer
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