Tom Kristensen, born in 1962, would not be the collector of Japanese prints and woodblock printmaker without the Internet. Tom is a phenomenon as an artist. He has started as a self-styled woodblock printmaker in 2003 without any history of art training or exhibitions records.
Tom Kristensen's parents migrated to Australia in the year of his birth from Denmark and Düsseldorf/Germany. Tom studied at University and has a degree in biology. After his graduation he worked as a creative landscape architect and gardener. Tom has a distincitve love for nature and especially the sea and the beaches.
I got to know Tom as an avid collector of Japanese art prints with a wide scope of interests. He became a client of artelino in 2002. The first print he bought from us, was a woodblock print by Toyohara Kunichika.
It was in 2003 that he surprised me with the news that he had created his first woodblock print. It was from the series of 36 Views of Green Island. At the first moment I was hesitant to present him in the artelino auctions. Tom had not graduated from an art academy, he had no history of exhibitions, not even a miniscule show at the local elementary school - nothing.
Another art professional on the Internet, the dealer and ukiyo-e book writer Eric van den Ing from Saru Gallery was smarter than me. And thus he was the first to introduce Tom Kristensen on his web site to an international audience of art buyers.
Since then Eric van den Ing and artelino have sold hundreds of Tom Kristensen woodblock prints all over the world. By 2008 there are a few more outlets selling Kristensen's prints including a local store in Australia. But Saru Gallery and artelino continue to be the major sales platforms for Tom.
On the page Tom Kristensen - born 1962 he introduces himself.
Tom Kristensen works in the traditional style of Japanese printmaking using traditional Japanese tools and materials. And here again the Internet plays a major role. Tom has learned his skill mostly from the Internet. There are many sites with practical information. Foremost to mention is the Baren Forum, an international platform and place of exchange of knowledge for woodblock printmakers from all over the world.
To create a woodblock print, Tom needs Japanese washi paper, wooden blocks, tools and colors and some more materials. Guess where he gets that from? He orders it on the Internet, of course.
Tom is not only a good printmaker, but also good in writing. On How a Woodblock Print is Made he demonstrates with words and images how his art is created.
Tom usually writes a small accompanying article for most of his new designs. These articles are published on artelino and are linked to from the print descriptions. This practice was first introduced by Paul Binnie, another woodblock printmaker who also relies on the Internet to sell his art works.
Author: Dieter Wanczura