Tom Clark
by Benji Smith

He has the word serenity tattooed across his back, between his shoulder blades about two inches below the nape of his neck. The characters are drawn in a simple serif outline and countless summer afternoons bleaching under the Southern California sun have left them pale and blurred.


In a single word, the whole throughline of a life's meandering thread.

Tom was born a twin on the Pacific shores of Alaska some six decades ago, give or take. At the age of six his family relocated to a villa in Italy and he spent the better part of the 1960s running through the streets of Rome, chasing through the vineyards in the countryside and playing in the shadows of the city's amber sky. In the evenings, to the rhythm of music that seemed to emanate from everywhere, his parents would roll up the carpets in the living room and the whole family would dance together.

In this setting, submerged in the beauty of the paintings, murals, statues and cathedral ceilings, Tom developed a deep appreciation for the delicate beauty of the human body. With a tiny instamatic camera always in his hands as the family traveled through Greece, Turkey and Europe, he learned the basics of photography; capturing the images that would form the basis of his lifelong aesthetic and eventually fuel the creativity and ideas for his gardening work. 

Tom and his partner Jed make their home in Northern California where they continue to create gardens and work on their individual art projects. 

Benji Smith