May (b.1994) is an abstract artist living and working in Los Angeles and Martha’s Vineyard. May studied at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he mastered analog photography techniques that would eventually inﬂuence his future as a painter.
While at SCAD he was inspired by the photographer, Uta Barth, who was showing at the SCAD Museum in Savannah. ‘Her photographs were these beautiful, out of focus scenes, of the light in her home’. Seeing these large scale works, May was inspired and began to create abstract images in a similar way. For his senior thesis, May created a body of camera-less work. He exposed 4×5” negatives and then etched into them, using various objects.
May’s early paintings were landscape paintings of Martha’s Vineyard. Like his photographs those early paintings began to wash away into abstraction until they were only ﬁelds of color. He again experimented with line and symbols in his work. This current body of work again focus on color, symbols, abstracted landscapes and automatic drawings.
May and his partner, Gwen O’Neil, opened the Lee O’Neil Gallery in Savannah, GA. The two not only wanted to exhibit their own work but show the work of their peers. In October 2016, May and O’Neil relocated to Los Angeles where they continue to exhibit emerging, mid career and well established artists in their gallery, now called- Grey Projects LA.
Together they have completed numerous projects and installations, including an installation for SCAD in Miami for Art Basel 2016. May’s career jump started in 2015 when he exhibited with Sylvester and Co in East Hampton, NY. This exhibition of large scale paintings introduced him to New York collectors and Interior designers of which he has produced several commissions for throughout the years. PRESS: SRQ MAGAZINE: 530 BURNS WELCOMES TOMMY MAY FOR SARASOTA DEBUT 2018