Tom Polo (b. 1985, Sydney, Australia) uses painting and painted environments to explore how conversation, doubt, gesture and ways of looking are embodied within abstracted acts of portraiture. Frequently incorporating text and figurative elements, his works draw on acute observations, absurdist encounters and personal histories. An ongoing interest across his practice is the emotional and performative relationships between people within social space.
Polo holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons. Class 1) and Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. Since 2007, he has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally. Recent projects include Primavera 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, NSW (2017); (These Things) Tell Me More About You, Mornington Peninsular Regional Gallery, Mornington, VIC (2017); Looking at Me Through You, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2017); Emotional Patrol, STATION, Melbourne (2017); Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, VIC (2016); and What Goes On Here, Spectrum Now, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2016).
Polo was awarded the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2015 and completed residencies at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris and ACME Studios, London in 2016 and Artspace, Sydney in 2017. He is represented commercially by STATION, Melbourne.