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i-N Conversation: Tom de Freston

In our snap happy age it’s reassuring to know there are still people out there who’ll painstakingly mull over a single image for weeks before they’ve even got to the time-consuming stage of picking up a paintbrush to commit it to canvas. Makes you think there must be hope for us yet.

With its long and complicated history involving multiple reinventions and reincarnations, painting resonates heavily with its own meaning as a medium as well as the stories and opinions that the artist is trying to express. So working as what he provocatively calls a “contemporary history painter”, Tom de Freston plunders these narratives and melds them with scenarios from literature and his own imaginings to create paintings that startlingly depict historically grand themes from a modern perspective.

Here he talks i-D online through the process of translating ideas into brushstrokes, and gives us a sneak peek into his studio and the processes behind his work.