Byrne was born in Dublin in 1962. He studied at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design, where he trained in the Bauhaus tradition. His strong interest in current affairs together with his punk mentality have blended to create an artist in tune with the world around him – who depicts the controversies in Irish politics with a commanding, humorous outlook. Byrne is strongly influenced by Walpole’s remark; “The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Byrne catches the great and the good of the day, their foibles and their achievements and their failures – always portrayed with humor and sarcasm.
In recent years, Tom Byrne has been represented at Art Expo New York, Art Sydney Australia and the Beijing Art Salon China.
Many of Tom Byrne’s works demonstrate a kinesthetic quality, engaging the viewer on just a visual level, but also on a tactile plane. He invites you, the viewer, to forget the established norm of “look but don’t touch” and instead to reach out and experience his pictures with senses other than your eyes.
Tom Byrne is emerging in the Irish Art Scene as one of the hottest new painters around. Classically trained but with a ‘punk’ mentality to his muse, Byrne portraits a world that is as fantastic as it is rooted in the life of modern Ireland. His explorations of the aftermath of the Celtic Tiger with its new found fascination with sex and money are riveting.
Tom has an innate skill which enables him to engage the viewer with his figurative paintings. He achieves this by allowing the figures to exude character. They create curiosity in the viewer as they often glance sideways or stare straight out of the painting. This contact causes a relationship between the viewer and the painting and it results in luring the viewer towards unveiling the emotional depth that is contained within his work. This proves very interesting as his figures relay a wide scope of emotions. Some screams out of the paintings as they are trapped inside and are trying to break free through the canvas. Others confined by alternative means – such as their shy nature or their overwhelming sense of awkwardness which isolates them from their surroundings. These contrast with the figures that float within their space and effortlessly radiate confidence and a sense of present.