Tom Anholt was born in 1987 in the UK and grew up in Devon.

Ridge Did you study art before taking up full time as an artist? Where?

Tom I studied in Falmouth, Chelsea College of Art and at Konstfack in Stockholm.

Ridge When did you come to Berlin?

Tom In 2010.

Ridge Why did you come to Berlin and from where?

Tom I came from London. I heard it was cheap and that there was a lot happening in art, particularly in painting. I also have a passion for German Expressionist and neo-expressionist painting. So in some ways it was a pilgrimage.

Ridge Which artists do you consider most influential or just admire?

Tom Picasso, Max Beckmann, Poussin, Tal R, Cecily Brown, Daniel Richter, Dexter Dalwood, Matisse, Ryan Mosley, Ryan Mendoza, Jakob Julian Ziolkowski, Michael Borremans, Carravagio, Philip Guston… shall I go on? I love painting, I truly love painting!

Ridge What motivates you to come into the studio each day?

Tom I have a real need to paint. It is my output, my way to make sense of the world and my passion. I truly love to paint, and I am excited by the possibilities everyday holds.

Ridge Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

Tom In a huge, light fantastic studio, in a beautiful part of the world with nothing to worry about except for painting.

Ridge What is your favourite part of Berlin and why?

Tom My studio. It is where I love to be. And on various football pitches scattered all over the city.

Ridge You talk about problem solving a lot. Do you get to points where the problem seems insoluble. What techniques do you use to deal with this?

Tom At certain points in a painting, it is possible that in its current state the image can go no further. At this point it can be totally destroyed. But this destruction will often be the catalyst for a new image. The final painting always contains traces of its history, so in this way the process of making a painting is always visible in the final outcome.

Ridge You like to work on very large canvasses. What are the drivers behind this?

Tom I am a very physical person. I play a lot of sport and this energy is essential in my work. Somehow you feel it in the marks. When you work on a large canvas it is a physical battle as well as a psychological one. When I have a problem with a painting, I would rather fight it out toe to toe than sit around discussing it.

Ridge There is a bold use of colour in a lot of your work. Is this a constant theme through all your work or something you are experimenting with at the moment?

Tom I love colour and I think a lot of English painters are scared to use it. I try to always work with a colour concept; this may mean muted tones that are harmonious or brash colours that react badly with one another. This depends on how I wish the viewer to view the painting. I may want them to take a warm bath or an ice cold shower.

Ridge What has been the most challenging thing about working as an artist in Berlin?

Tom The lack of light and the cold in the winter is hard. Also Berlin, is such a fashionable city. I don’t want to make the work that is ‘in fashion’; I want to make work that I feel is right for me at that particular.

Ridge And what has been the best thing about working in Berlin?

Tom Where shall I start? It is a real ‘making’ environment. Every other person is starting a new project or involved in something creative. There is a fantastic energy that runs through the city. Also it’s cheap! It’s the worst kept secret, but Berlin is the perfect place for emerging artists.