Thom! is an onomatopoeic bouncing sound used in Italian comic books. A ball of energy, Diego Della Posta picked up the pseudonym Mr Thoms to describe the way that he bounces around the world – thom’ing off different surfaces. The characters he creates often spring into creation because of their environment.
“Every time it’s an opportunity to create a unique piece of artwork in this space,” says Della Posta “You can’t realise this idea in other places, this is my passion and vision. It’s really for a joke, when I see the structure in geometric form I try and create a character that would live in this shape. It’s fantastic because you have a 3D effect, so it’s installation work, not only a painting but also you use the form to create a big sculpture.”
It’s not just the environment that Mr Thoms bounces off but modern culture. It surprised me that he created a satirical piece called “#selfie #never #die” but as soon as he finishes the Village Underground wall the first thing he wants to do is get the selfie stick out.
“I describe myself and everyone else at the same time. I criticise my own obsessions, a bit like how modern comic strips satirise personal situations but it is also a joke about modern obsessions.”
As with many artists today Della Posta doesn’t just stick to the street, Mr Thoms ricochets against trainers, t-shirts, toys, sculptures, t-shirts and animated gifs. Naturally, when these are being shared digitally, they do very well on social media, even if it’s the medium itself which is being brought into question.
“I use the same system too, obviously” says Della Posta “Although, there were comments on the Facebook post, asking whether they should like the video or not.”
Della Posta describes his creative process as a type of exorcism: ideas, themes and characters can be worked and reworked in his notebooks then projectile vomited onto a medium which best suits his message.
“I have to get out the ‘devil inside’ for my art. When I start on a piece of graffiti I also do illustrations, graphics and cartoons. I create art otherwise I would need a psychiatrist. I think now that my style is the result of many different inputs in my brain shaken out.”
The process for the Holywell Lane mural was a little different to the large scale pieces he’d created before. The wall instead covers a range of different subjects and slogans. I wondered whether the piece (entitled “Feast or Famine”) was a response to the over stimulus of London life but Della Posta points out that if there is one theme for this wall it’s the issue of the homeless.
“For the last few years I’ve realised many ideas from my sketchbook, for example on one page I developed a whole character that appears on the wall. To begin with we wanted to do something about London’s homeless, because that’s a big obsession for me. In Denmark I developed Sherlock Homeless, for this wall you can see the homeless and the spikes which stop them from sleeping outside banks and places. It’s something I hate and I wanted to express. Every time it is a responsibility to meet the people of the city. The real street artists are the homeless, you must be creative to survive.”