A common thread throughout Tom Perri’s professional work experience is his love of art. As a child Perri developed that interest as a direct influence by his uncle, a self-taught painter. Despite his uncle’s premature death [the uncle having crashed in a B29 bomber en route to Korea], Tom has continued working in their common area of interest. Perri has spoken of his fascination for his deceased uncle’s artwork, which continues to inspire him - even after all these years!
A native-born son of Metuchen, NJ, Perri was awarded a BFA degree in Fine and Industrial Art from the NY Institute of Technology. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for four years. While technically an avionics specialist, Perri spent his service time designing and painting murals, plus executing a variety of graphic arts for his superior officer. Since those service days, Tom has been employed as a professional cabinetmaker with specialization in furniture design and fabrication.
Today you will see examples of Tom Perri’s handling of materials to portray the figure in the most sensitive and human terms. There is a feeling that the figure is studied with a traditional or classical eye. You also have a sense of the figure in special relationship with an environment unseen; furthermore, empathy for the figure may well be the message.
Perri said he is most influenced by a number of artists who work in 3-D assemblage: Joseph Cornell who used boxes and technique of irrational juxtaposition of found objects with the evocation of nostalgia; and Louise Nevelson who put things together that other people had thrown out – thus bringing those items to new life. Most recently, H.C. Westermann’s [whose 3-D sculptures display an underlying theme of the psychological effects of his Korean wartime experiences] came to Perri’s attention. Perri’s other favorite artists include two-dimensional artists like de Chirico and Goya. All these influential artists have relationships to design of materials/ideas for human utility and enjoyment.
Pen and ink, printmaking, oils, and mixed media are some of the media that fascinate Perri in the 2-D realm. Additionally he loves to build 3-D wooden objects of utility, perhaps dressed with the artist touches, such as painting or carving. Enjoy Thomas Perri’s 2-D’s artworks displayed here today!