Thom Puckey is of English descent, born near London in 1948. He lives in Amsterdam and Tuscany.
He begun studying fine art fine art at Croydon College of Art, near London, in 1966, and was awarded a Masters degree in 1975 at the Royal College of Art. From 1973-1981 he worked as a performance artist, as part of the duo "Reindeer Werk" (together with Dirk Larsen). Reindeer Werk performed and exhibited throughout Europe and North America, and amongst many other shows, participated in Documenta VI in 1977.
In 1978 Thom Puckey moved to the Netherlands. Since 1983 he has worked as a sculptor, first with abstract work, but later with increasingly figurative, provocative sculptures.
His recent bronze and particularly marble sculptures are made from live models, specific people, and produced in laborious, traditional methods of casting, carving and finishing. They depict confronting scenes: realistically modelled or carved female nudes, posed in eighteenth and nineteenth century classical ways, aim and fire brutal-looking contemporary military technology into an imagined horizon of space, if not at each other. Collapsing classical studio techniques with art-historical legacies and contemporary political implications, Puckey continues to coax from his frozen material a kind of trans-historical living image.
Since 2016 Puckey has been concentrating more and more on a body of black and white analogue photos, which he shoots, develops and prints in his own studio and darkroom. The photos, featuring various female figures in other-wordly settings, are initially composed with great care but then often thrown open to accident and chance. He generally uses long shutter speeds and his camera and lights can be unpredictably mobile.The elements light, time and spatiality separate themselves out in his work, achieving a kind of independence over and above the scene that is directly portrayed.
Thom Puckey is one of the founders of the new wave of Dutch figurative art, and in 1990 had a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He has taught art at several academies in the Netherlands, and from 1987 to 1995 was a sculpture tutor at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. In 1997 he became tutor in fine art at the academy AKV-St. Joost in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, where he continued working until 2013. In recent years he has been a visiting professor at various art academies and universities in China. His works are in numerous international museum and private collections, and his commissioned public sculptures are prominent in several cities in the Netherlands. In 2017 he completed the large monument to the Dutch statesman J.W Thorbecke, placed opposite the parliament buildings in the Hague.