Tom Giesler is a self-taught painter whose keen eye reveals his first career as a patent illustrator. He began teaching himself to paint while illustrating products for medical and high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. He exhibited large-scale paintings of imagined organic machines in the San Francisco Bay Area throughout the 1990s and 2000s, and he wrote and illustrated Unventional, a humorous book of patent drawings that resist conformity and expectation.
Giesler says, “Learning to paint took forever. I spent most of my time in the studio finding out what paint can’t do. Eventually I learned how to control the paint well enough to execute what I needed to. These days I’m trying to do less controlling of the paint and follow what the paint and brushes naturally want to do together.”
Most recently, Giesler’s sensitivity to texture and light have found form in oil paintings of savory gems from his kitchen. According to Giesler, “I choose subjects that are ordinary or overlooked...but have an underlying sexiness. I try to find ways to elevate them or put them in contexts that make you think a little differently about them.”
Giesler’s food paintings often feature unusual and seemingly unnatural combinations. He explains, “The combinations I paint never have an aromatic sensibility for me. They’re strictly capturing color and form and memory. But I can understand if someone feels squeamish about Jell-O with raw beef or cigarettes with salmon.”
His work has been exhibited widely and is held in public and private collections worldwide, with his work next on view in The Still Life Show at McVarish Gallery from August 14 through November 11. Giesler lives and works in Berkeley, California, with his wife, two children and a cat. —
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Represented by McVarish Gallery
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