Family Dinner

Family Dinner

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©2006 Tom Block

(On the Mythology of the Mundane series)

I created this series of paintings in 1996 and 1997, while living in a basement apartment in a far suburb of Washington D.C. called Gaithersburg. Predicated in the belief that mystery and mythology are hidden in the mundane moments of our day to day life, I created a series of images wrested from the stream of everyday existence.

As we trudge through our daily lives, we pass through literally millions of moments that act as metaphor for our personal struggle and the struggle of humanity in general. Moments in a bar with friends; a smile exchanged with a lover, a heated conversation, an afternoon spent baby-sitting a nephew — all of these experiences pass through us almost completely without notice while we are busy focusing on more important things, such as our future life plans or the latest political crisis.

But it is in the small moments of day to day life that we truly exist — and it is in these generally ignored experiences that we can find all of the mystery, beauty and metaphor that human experience has to offer.

In this series of paintings, I have captured some of these fleeting moments, removing them from the stream of life. Displaced from their context, these moments among friends and family take on mythological meaning. The brief encounters in a bar or living room become representative of human interaction in general, capturing the charm, the mystery and even the absurdity that passes unnoticed through each of us everyday.

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