"Daydreams and nightmares seem to inform Stephen Tompkins' work equally. One addictively absorbing example is GummyMorph, a compendium of lugubrious shape-shifting goblins and tumescent worms that inflate, bloat, pop, reconfigure, melt and sway to a mesmerizing percussive soundtrack. Domesticated Celestial Bestiary (this animation opens with a gong as a house decants an unlikely menagerie of creatures before promptly deliquescing), is another key example of Tompkins' associative process which playfully sutures the sublime and the ridiculous." - Robin Clark, PhD, MCASD (Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego) Stephen Tompkins' nomination for the 2010 San Diego Art Prize
"Tompkins’ work is almost like as if the entire Dr. Seuss series of children books (not as if that series wasn’t bizarre enough) went on a 14 day LSD binge with all the other necessary drug accoutrements like in “Fear and Loathing Las Vegas“…pure chaotic beauty." - Empty Kingdom
Stephen Tompkins work explores the duality of visible/invisible worlds as told through a ‘hallucinogenic cartoon lens’ as well as animated stream-of-consciousness cartoon manifestations. His drawings and paintings explore the nature of ‘intuitive cartoon production’ to elucidate seemingly random, partially formulated, fragmented identities. In Tompkins work, the subjects are often effaced, scrambled, contorted, melted, exploded and forced in and out of being in the same frame as mutant comic identities. Tompkins continually contorts and forces the rudimentary forms of the cartoon into physically impossible fantastic worlds and scenes to playfully amplify subjective inner space, the esoteric, the sublime, the supernatural, and the ridiculous.