Tom Moody is a talented New-York-based visual artist with a penchant for bitmap imagery. He can draw more expressively in Microsoft Paint than I can with a box of soft pastels, and his use of this skill in such a restrictive medium to pull in fine art and low culture references is good stuff. Solving the technical problems of representing the forms that society creates is what art is about.
Tom’s image work is an embodiment of the current forms and means of production of internet-based society. But, and this is crucial, it is phrased unavoidably in terms of art history and artistic production that mean it would fail as simple web illustration. It is too interesting and has too much internal complexity. It makes a context for itself. History, problem solving and interiority are anathema to the easy post-historical consumerist cool of Web 2.0.
Tom’s pixels-as-symbolic-form MS Paint drawings of graffitti, or of found image elements then mixed in with art-historical precedents, present the viewer and critic with work to do both visually and conceptually. They are vivid and timely images without being tricksy or issue-illustrating. These stand-alone pieces are where I feel the best of Tom’s work is. You can gain a lot of insight into contemporary culture by looking at them.