Tim Holmes (born May 8, 1955), American sculptor, filmmaker, and musician, lives in Montana. He was the first American artist ever invited to exhibit solo at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, from 1993 to 1994, where three of his sculptures remain on permanent exhibit.
His work has gained notice also among some of the world's peacemakers. Among Holmes' best-known collectors are Nobel prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter, along with many other international figures such as Václav Havel, Coretta Scott King and Mrs. Anwar Sadat. Holmes has created sculpture for many humanitarian projects such as the Physicians for Social Responsibility, PeaceLinks, and Cape Town's bid for the 2004 Olympics. In 2000 he created the bronze sculpture Anima Mundi for the United Nations Millennium Peace Prize for Women, awarded to heroines working to bridge conflicts the world over.
Following the Tiananmen Square massacre in China in 1989 Holmes was commissioned by the China Information Center to create a sculpture, China Peace, to commemorate that event and raise money to get the true account past Chinese official censors through to the Chinese people in what has become known as "the first FAX revolution in history".
Holmes exhibits in American museums and galleries across the US as well in Europe but often prefers exhibiting his work in venues outside the standard art world. He has shown work in prominent cathedrals such as the National Cathedral in Washington DC and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
Though Holmes is most well known for sculpture, he has worked in a variety of media from museum installation to filmmaking and experiments in new media. Holmes's work primarily focuses on the human form as a spiritual metaphor. His film series, the Body Psalms Project is a multi-tiered exercise in social engagement using art as a catalyst to inspire people wherever their lives have meaning, whether that be through traditional institutions or on the street. The project consists of a series of events, rituals and films involving dancers unfolding passages of sacred writings painted on their bodies in a unique kind of sculptural poetry performance. The work challenges participants and viewers to re-evaluate the meaning and value of the human body in global capitalist culture.
Holmes' mediums have diverged from metal sculpture (primarily the 70's to 90's) to painting and drawing (90's) to filmmaking (2000's) and on into more esoteric media he refers to as "psychic art", where the viewer's apprehension of the work precedes the material messenger, or in the case of "Ritual Relationships"- rooted in depth psychology- in which the viewer's apprehension of an art work is replaced by a very limited direct encounter with another person.
In recent years Holmes's target audience has also expanded beyond the individual art viewer to the greater social landscape, causing him to refer to himself as a "cultural sculptor". In 2011, following the dramatic events of the Arab Spring, Holmes designed a model for a global democracy called "Democratic Globe" ("DemocraticGlobe.com") that would offer every person on earth citizenship in a globalized world. In this vision, every person would have a voice as a citizen of the planet through a web-based mechanism in which individual values could be aggregated into a kind of world human spirit, which, according to the model would "resist evil of all kinds" and also keep control of an unfolding future in human hands rather than those of rapidly-evolving artificial intelligence.
In 2013 Holmes launched an initiative to transform the U.S. monetary system with the distribution of "Blue Bills", U.S. currency dyed blue and stamped to indicate that these bills are backed by the enduring value of a healthy environment and a strong community ("Bluebills.us"). Holmes refers to the Blue Bills project as a "people's movement", as he encourages people to dye their own bills following simple instructions. He says Blue Bills actively resist pursuit in the current capitalist economy of "profits at all costs". Instead they demand use to promote healthiness, which, being backed by faith in "the value of a clean world" become nearly impossible to use for exploitive purposes. He refers to the idea of Blue Bills, as "the most elegant of any of my creations to date".
Tim Holmes is a member of the political satire and comedy group the Montana Logging and Ballet Co., billed as National Public Radio's "resident political satirists" during the Clinton years and which performed around the U.S. from 1976 to 2013 for audiences as diverse as the U.S. Congress, the National Press Club, and the Whitehall, Montana Public Library.
Who Gives All Gifts, 2008
The Cycle of Renewal, 2001
Still from The 23rd Psalm, a film short by Tim Holmes from the Body Psalms Project