Enter Tom Flint’s dystopian world and you embark on a Stygian journey through dark, satanic cityscapes, peopled by ghostly gures, some skeletal, others naked, passing in front of soaring buildings. There is nothing pretty about his urban etchings. They are stark, dramatic and cheerless, recalling Gustave Doré’s nightmarish prints of the slums in Victorian London, or the illustrations which ‘Phiz’ drew for Dickens’s Bleak House. Nothing cosy in these corners, either.
The buildings, which are a major feature in many works, could be described as representational, whether in silhouette or traced outline, and in whatever manner he has rendered them, but at street-level things change and his vehicles, for instance, are described with almost childlike simplicity. Although not trained in architectural drawing, his perspective and attention to detail would shame many an architect. Some of the skies in his later oils are worthy of seventeenth century Dutch masters like Willem van de Velde the Younger, or even J M W Turner.
In one etching, ‘The Strand, London’, he did a Hitchcock, and drew himself, carrying a large portfolio, with an outline of a curved building in the background. Flint leaves in a number of his perspectival guidelines and the effect is an almost ‘work-in-progress’ one, as they become part of the sky and overall building, creating layers, spacial relationships and depth to the image.
Tom Flint trained in graphic design and illustration at Leeds Metropolitan University and Fine Art and Printmaking at the Slade School. Since graduating, he has featured in a series of group and solo exhibitions and was an award winner in the Hunting Prizes Young Artists of the Year. He lives in London and juggles with being a parent, an art teacher and producing his own work.