Describing Tom Slaughter’s prolific works, Henry Geldzahler, the renowned curator of twentieth-century American art, said: “The quality of freshness, the familiar world re-seen, from the water towers of New York City to the rural pleasures of boating, is the most immediately arresting aspect of Tom Slaughter’s art.... Bold bright colors swiftly laid down echo with resonances: Léger and Stuart Davis, Raoul Dufy and Roy Lichtenstein.” Slaughter’s seemingly effortless whimsy is rendered with a strong sense of line, color, and rhythm reminiscent of Matisse. His Pop-inflected drawings, prints, paintings, and illustrations convey his enduring love of life as he relentlessly explored the complexities of the urban scene or the simple pleasures of boating.
His vibrant art is all about pleasure and he clearly took a lighthearted approach to his work, offering his viewers a sensual and visual delight. He rendered his observations in vivid colors while incorporating a subtlety that emphasizes simplicity, the mysteries of negative space, and the enigmatic power it brings to an artwork. His prolific career, though cut short, was remarkable for a visual language that makes his art accessible to everyone. Throughout his enormous body of work, he celebrates an abiding optimism, his personal and artistic honesty, and a charming brashness in a landscape of pure joy.