From concrete walls to canvas, one could spot the intricate and colorful work of Thomas Breeze Marcus almost immediately. An artist who began expressing his talent in alleyways and backstreets has since begun embracing the desert heat and long days to master his skill at home in Phoenix, Arizona. Once you begin to take a close look at the incredible detail within each piece, it comes as no surprise that Marcus’ art requires a great deal of time and concentration. “On those days when I’m tired of being tired and the hours begin to take a toll, I remember the sacrifices my ancestors made and the effort in making a simple basket-it keeps me going.”
Thomas Breeze Marcus not only gained motivation from his Tohono O’odham ancestors and their style of basket weaving but also found inspiration in the patterns and incorporates them into most of his artwork. “There are two things I love about line work,” Marcus states, “the first is its connection to graffiti and the second is that it represents how everything is connected-there is no beginning and no end.” Another significant aspect seen in his art are the striking colors and hues of blue, pink, orange, red and green. The source of inspiration for the vibrancy of the colors in Marcus’ work can be found in the desert sky during sunset, which he makes a point to stop and watch each day.
The piece entitled “Little Hero” beautifully combines Marcus’ line work, color usage and cultural background. An acrylic painting of a detailed and brightly colored hummingbird atop a backdrop of geometric shapes and patterns tells the story of an old tale from the Tohono O’odham Nation. “When the people in the desert were waiting for rain, the hummingbird was the only one brave enough to fly out far into the desert and bring it back,” explains Marcus. “That’s why it is the little hero.”
Although Thomas Breeze Marcus’ work has transitioned from the walls of streets to canvas, paper, gourds and even old vinyl records, his style has remained consistent and is just as breathtaking as ever. With deep roots in graffiti, Marcus has expanded his skill set with the use of a variety of mediums and has excelled at each. Thomas Breeze Marcus’ artwork blends color and continuity, describing this juxtaposition himself as simply, “beautiful chaos.”