BigToe, AKA Tom Laura was born to a big Italian family in LA and still makes his home in Southern California. His formative years were spent surfing from Baja South to Malibu North, and copying images from Mad Magazine and Ed Roth. After taking 10 years to get a 4 year fine arts degree at Cal State Long Beach, Tom went into the apparel business, the surf industry to be specific. During this time, in addition to helping raise 2 amazing daughters, surfing and surf travel was been Tom’s passion, with local status at the Southernmost “Trestle” punctuated by occasional surf trips to most of the Hawaiian Islands, Samoa and Various parts of Baja and mainland Mexico. After a 15 year "hiatus", he started painting again:
Tom creates art with a casual, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and playful eroticism that offers a nostalgic escape in our fast-paced and ever-changing world. BigToe’s art is inspired by the confluence of Tiki, Kustom and Surf cultures. The fusion of these seemingly disparate lifestyles has always been an obvious one to the artist: All 3 are outsider ways of life. The last vestiges of wild west renegades.
BigToe's artwork lives in collections all over the world with collectors as varied as Sex Pistol Steve Jones, Blondies Debbie Harry and Google’s Googolplex. The art of BigToe has been exhibited at galleries worldwide including La Luz de Jesus, Copro Nason in Los Angeles, as well as US galleries from Hawaii, San Diego, Orange County, New York, Detroit and Florida, and worldwide in galleries in Canada Japan, France, England, Germany, Switzerland and Australia’s Kustom Lane.
BigToe’s first decade of artwork is featured in the Book Gratisfaction: The Inspirational art of BigToe, and in several themed art books such as Korero Publishing's Kustom Graphics and Surf Story and in magazines such as Longboard Magazine, Car Kulture Deluxe, Bachelor Pad, Tattoo Life Magazine, Campout Magazine, Tiki Magazine, Exotica Moderne, Ol Skool Rods and MAD magazine, as well as Smokin' Shutdown/Germany, Burnout Magazine/ Japan, Pinstripe & Kustom Graphics magazine in England and Deadbeat Magazine/ Australia.