Bill Toma has been involved in art since childhood. An avid sketch
artist throughout his school years, Toma continued his interest
in art through oil painting while obtaining a Master of Arts degree
in English in 1961. While pursuing a teaching career, Toma began
sculpting and working in metal. By 1973, Toma had become so obsessed
with his art that he resigned his well established career as an
English instructor at Long Beach City College to pursue his passion
full-time. Since that turning point, Toma has become an internationally
known and highly collectible artist.
It may be said that one's environment can give eloquent testimony
to one's interests. If this is so, Bill Toma's studio speaks clearly
about his varied artistic interests. This visual representation
starts with an oil painting of the late Bunker Hill's Victorian
homes, whimsical motorized sculptures with as many as 200 cast
parts, sensual nudes, fierce dragons in their original clay form
that somehow survived the molding process, an aging clay torso
of a Harlequin, the head of a grizzly bear used as a study, a
robotics frog catching a robotics dragonfly, and scattered about
the entire studio, a host of Disney characters.
When asked about his work, Bill states that he greatly enjoys
having his work speak symbolically to its viewers, no doubt a
carry over from his literary background. Symbolism can, indeed,
be profound, which is the case with the "Gift of Love"
depicting a lovely nude sitting atop a pedestal offering a blossoming
red rose. The rose is an object of beauty, delicacy and fragrance;
yet, it possesses thorns. The opening of the rose is representative
of having to open ourselves in order to experience love, thereby
becoming vulnerable. The thorns are symbolic of the possibility
of being hurt while in the vulnerable state of love. Though the
jester's gloves are an attempt to avoid the path of love, once
in love, anyone can be made the fool.
Such is the work of Bill Toma, one of the most innovative and
popular sculptors in the world today. So extraordinarily detailed
and exquisitely finished are Bill Toma's works that he has been
under exclusive contract with Walt Disney World, Disneyland and
The Walt Disney Company since 1980 and has been creating and producing
Disney characters in limited editions.
Bill's creations represent a vast and unique repertoire of his
personal interests. Not limiting himself to one genre, he pursues
a variety of subject matter which includes a series of Wildlife,
Nudes, Renaissance Harlequins and most recently, Fantasy Art.
He states, "My fascination with fantasy art results from
the complete imaginative freedom it offers. It allows us to travel
to realms beyond, to realms of an alternative reality where anything
is possible, to realms that offer the substance of our dreams,
to realms that fire the imagination." Consequently, when
we view "Dragonslayer," we see a magnificently armored
knight with shield, lance and sword setting out to slay the beast
astride a gigantic armored snail, delightfully whimsical, utterly
fanciful and totally paradoxical.
Bill Toma's work captures a flight of fancy, freezes the imagination's
most soaring dream, and brings it to terra firma for our pleasure
Toma Fine Art 2004