Thomas Van Housen

“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” - Jerzy Kosinski


Artist's Bio



Thomas Van Housen is a self-taught artist whose artworks incorporate freehand painting, using both abstraction and computer-designed graphic elements. His images stem from pop culture, the sciences, personal inspiration, and subjects commissioned by clients. Van Housen is frequently commissioned to create digital works from photographs, which are then rendered as laser transfers onto gessoed wood or inkjet-on-canvas prints.

A former actuary and executive search consultant, Van Housen left corporate culture in 1990 to concentrate on painting and computer consulting to families and small businesses. He sold 41 paintings to the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1996. The series, which toured the country for a year, was based on the Moonlight Tobacco Company logo and numerous cigarette pack designs. In 1997 he was selected by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to create a series of paintings on the Hale-Bopp Comet for the departing Chairman of the Grants Committee. For many years Van Housen’s paintings were featured at Gordon, the famed Chicago restaurant, where he sold over 60 works of art to numerous prominent Chicagoans and travelers from around the world. Included among his patrons is a former Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Over nearly three decades, Van Housen has created and sold over 1,450 paintings.

Van Housen graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics, with emphasis in Actuarial Science and Accounting.