Before dedicating his life to art, Tom Bogaert documented genocide and human rights abuses in Africa, Europe and Asia. He worked as a lawyer for Amnesty International and the UN refugee agency. The artist does not see his artwork as an extension of his refugee work, although it does directly confront the intersection of human rights, entertainment and propaganda. He stopped practicing law in 2004 and participated in the Elizabeth Foundation Studio Center in New York City, staging his first solo exhibition in NYC in 2008 with Jack the Pelican Presents. He has since exhibited work in Europe, the Middle East and the US.
In January 2010, Bogaert began working on ‘Impression, proche orient’ (IPO), an art project referencing issues relevant to the contemporary Near East society including politics, artistic identity and the new Arabs. His recent solo exhibition And Did Those Feet at al Hoash Gallery in East Jerusalem included works from IPO in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.
Bogaert is currently working on Sun Ra in Egypt, a research-based project that traces the work and influence of radical jazz composer and bandleader Sun Ra and his deep passion for ancient Egypt.