Famous Tasmanian artist Tom Samek, whose works dot Hobart, die


Anyone spending time in Tasmania’s capital is almost sure to stumble upon a piece of art by Tom Samek.

The artist is remembered for his “quirky, witty and engaging” contributions to the Hobart art scene, his “wonderful sense of humor” and his compassion.

Samek died last week, aged 71, after battling a chronic illness.

He was the originator of some of Tasmania’s best-known works of art, including the Imperfect History of Tasmanian Wine mural at Meadowbank Estate.

His large-scale works around Hobart include a mural in the lobby of the RACT building and two murals at the University of Tasmania School of Engineering at Sandy Bay.

Good Balance by Tom Samek, 2013.(Provided: Hand mark)

Samek was born in Prague, Czech Republic, and moved to Tasmania in the 1970s at the age of 21.

Ms Curtis said he initially focused on being a chef, but had a passion for life, love, sex, food and wine.

“So he took his love for food and wine and developed it into art… Initially a large part of his work was printmaking and these were very well known and gave him early fame. “she said.

Former and current politicians also shared memories and paid homage to the man who they said was one of the state’s best known and celebrated artists.

“Tom Samek’s unique style has infused his visual reflections on day-to-day living with humor and whimsy,” Arts Minister Elise Archer said.

A woman is sitting on a chair, next to the camera with a serious expression, and in front of a blurry painting
Trudi Curtis says artist Tom Samek loved food, wine, and art.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

Ms Archer said Samek was incredibly generous, “donating many of his works of art and his own culinary talent at auction, to benefit many local charities.”

Former Tasmanian Prime Minister David Bartlett also paid tribute.

A print depicting a horse in different colors of red.
Carpet for horses by Tom Samek, 2002.(Provided: hand mark)

Samek was represented by the Handmark Gallery in Hobart.

“Tom’s brilliant mind, his insight, his wit, his sense of humor, his love of food, wine, music – in fact his love of life in abundance played out – in his art” the gallery team said in a statement.

“We, his friends and the general public, revel in his murals, mosaics, woodwork, sculptures, public art installations and on a smaller scale his prints, engravings and of course, the annual calendar.

“These make us smile every day and will continue to do so.

A man rides a bicycle, that is, a bottle of wine on two wheels.  The wine comes out of the bottle and enters the man's mouth.
The Life Cycle of Tom Samek, 2017.(Provided: hand mark)

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