The Accidental Expressionist

Martyn Thompson Studio Mar 2016 - Apr 2016


From Martyn Thompson Studio in New York, “The Accidental Expressionist” is a collection of fabrics and murals that celebrates the creative process and the potential of unseen details. The incidental marks of the artist; paint splatters, stains and specks, are elevated and transformed into woven fabrics that speak to the beauty of unconscious creation. The paint-blotted surfaces left behind from Thompson’s creative endeavors have been collected and photographed; these images have then been woven in 100% cotton on a jacquard loom to form abstract fabrics that are exuberant and expressive of the designer’s hand. The Jacquard fabrics are suitable for upholstery, soft furnishings and wall hangings.



Martyn Thompson is a world-renowned photographer who creates masterful textiles, fabrics, and wallpaper and interior objects from his Soho, New York studio. Known for his rich, painterly aesthetic, Thompson has worked with clients such as Hermés, Tiffany & Co., Ralph Lauren, MAC, and countless publications. From his multi-disciplinary studio, he produces limited edition photography and a singular collection that evinces the tactile, romantic eloquence Thompson is known for.

Born in Britain and raised in Australia, Thompson graduated from Sydney University with a degree in English. Soon after, he gravitated towards the visual world developing his aesthetic while hand-painting fabrics and designing clothes for “Ox”, an avant-garde clothing shop, which he established with a small group of friends. Throughout the design and merchandising process Thompson began shooting his own collections, and subsequently fell in love with photography and its narrative potential. He promptly moved on to shooting editorials for local magazines such as Follow Me and Stiletto.

Before long, Thompson made the leap from Sydney to Paris to pursue a career in photography. Expanding fashion stories under the tutelage of Jane Roarty, his editor back in Australia, Thompson became a documenter of lifestyle: art, food, culture. His singular aesthetic drew the attention of Ilse Crawford, who had launched Elle Decoration in the United Kingdom. Collaborating with Crawford introduced Thompson to a new world and he focused on his particular genius with color and set design to create vivid, contemporary interiors photographs. This immersive, highly romantic “lived in” approach was revolutionary for the time.

Seduced by the opportunities abroad, Thompson then found his way to New York, where the collaboration potential and large production budgets provided new experiences and a better fit for Thompson’s aesthetic. Growing on his signature style whilst developing a blue chip client base, Thompson brought tactile realism to myriad project including still life, beauty, accessories, interiors, fashion, and travel photography.

Thompson’s lush, idiosyncratic fabrics and textiles are a natural extension of his aesthetic. His debut “Accidental Expressionist” collection – which drew from existing photographs, explored the creative process and the potential of unseen details. Jacquard-loom fabrics and thick tapestries are made in the USA and the collection of has expanded to include pillows, lamps and wallpaper.