Tom Knetchel lives in Los Angeles, went to Cal Arts in the early seventies, and teaches in two of the leading art schools in this city. The artist said: "I think of my painting as being filled with the references to literature and language: metaphor, rhymes, narrative, character... my work can be described as fitting into an investigation of identity and sexuality which is very prevalent in this country. I often think of my painting as a kind of imaginary theatre company.. examples of what theatre thrills me: Ariane Mnouchkine and the Theatre du Soleil. Giorgio Strehler and the Piccolo Teatro. Charles Ludlam and the Theatre of the Ridiculous. Drag. Puppet theatres. Kabuki and bunraku from Japan, kathakail from India. Circuses. Commedia dell'arte... Only in the theatres listed above does my love of allegory, artificiality, spectacle, wonder and narrative find itself amply gratified.... and since I don't get to see them often, that appetite goes roaring into my painting. The characters who inhabit my paintings are not symbols but a repertory company of actors anxious to cram into the next tableau.... I mentioned narrative. That's one other element which feeds my life in the studio. I love the kinds of stories which spiral and meander, lost in the pleasures of narrative invention: fairy tales, The 1001 Nights, Tristam Shandy, nineteenth-century novels, pornographic fantasies. I suppose that I am not nervous about my love of literary content, the alleged bugbear of contemporary painting, because it's balanced by the intense pleasure I get from the physical language of paint, the visceral form of the material even when it's not engaged in representation. He exhibited at PPOW Gallery in New York in 1997.