Thomas OKOK Gunnarsson, born 1979, is an artist, documentary film maker, photographer, tattoo artist and rapper from Stockholm, Sweden. He’s autodidact with early roots in the world of graffiti writing, still very active within this subculture via his Instagram account and YouTube channel TagsAndThrows – one of the world’s leadinf sources for movies and photography of the backbone of graffiti – tags and throw-ups.
Thomas has been exhibiting his art in Lublin, New York, Paris, Osaka, Kyoto and Stockholm. On several occasions, Thomas has used painting as a performance, painting in front of people at, for example, Stockholm Jazz Festival and Affordable Art Fair. Additionally, he has curated exhibitions at restaurant Ljunggren and Clarion Hotel.
Thomas’ art is about capturing time. The process is as important as the final outcome – the next piece is even more important than what he’s painting now. As Thomas wakes up to face a new day, he’s electrically vibrating. Quickly, he needs to express himself. He collects evidenceof his existence. Evidence that consists of drawings, paintings, movies, photographs and underlined texts in the many books he’s reading. A day without creating something is a day that never existed.
Thomas treats his work as a voyage discovery without a specific goal. He does not want to know where he’s heading. Instead, he’s letting his hands and eyes collaborate with his soul – disconnecting thought. He is creating visual mistakes that he balances with other mistakes. Letting the energy of the Universe flow – filtered through the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds that led to this exact point in time – in front of this particular white paper.
Thomas is looking for the details others miss out on. He’s in love with finding the forms no one else dares to love. He’s building up muscle memory that physically affect the forms he’s creating – out of his direct control. Much of how he expresses his self is based on the primal, direct, and dirty realness of graffiti tagging – the artform closest to his heart. He’s challenging the world’s perception of illegal art and stands strong behind its non-polished expression. He’s letting the world in on this entire process via social media and live events. The core of his artistic adventures is to inspire others to dare to paint or in other ways be creative. We are all created to create.
Thomas’ art is his now. Every piece is a snippet, or longer period of time, between his birth and death.