Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On Fred Tomaselli "The Times"

All us artists really are just trying to wipe everyone's eyes clean and clear, our own included; I think a lot of artists are basically saying to their viewers, 'Pay attention to this, I find this interesting.' —Fred Tomaselli

The work of Fred Tomaselli is all about vision. When one thinks about the word and concept of "vision," it can either refer to what you see optically, the span and scope of what one sees with their senses, or the forward ideas that guide one's life. In Tomaselli's art, vision refers to what one see's, but how that vision is both enhanced and expanded by the artists' reflection of the world. In his solo show entitled "The Times," currently at the Orange County Museum of Art, Tomaselli introduces the viewer to his vision in both his earlier paintings and with his latest, and most current, body of work which uses photos and images from the New York Times.  

When you look at Tomaselli's earlier paintings, the viewer cannot be passive. A mere glance of the work is insufficient to unlock the secrets that Tomaselli seeks to reveal. The paintings are fantastic in their depictions of nature, birds and the human form. Colors and forms are prevalent in their covering of the canvas. The vision is psychedelic and places the viewer in a near alternative state of mind. Looking afar is not enough. Tomaselli wants to reveal his secrets behind the vision he presents to the viewer. When the viewer moves closer, one sees pills, marijuana leaves, photos of eyes and other images. Tomaselli wants the viewer to know that the experiences of his paintings are the result of the altered mind. The origins are revealed. 

Revealing what is not seen is also a concern with Fred Tomaselli's recent works entitled "The Times," which revolve around photos from the New York Times. The main impetus of the Tomaselli's current show is his altering photos using various media to reveal an expressiveness that is meant to be a revelation. What is Tomaselli revealing to the viewer? Tomaselli is connecting his inner self as they relate to the events or the persons that are being portrayed in the New York Times. Like the drugs and images that unlock the images contained in his earlier paintings, the events of the world act as such a catalyst. The artist is reacting to the political and the historical situation that is portrayed in the photographs from the New York Times. The reaction is the product that Tomaselli is exhibiting in "The Times."

"The Times" demonstrates both a consistency and a new direction from the previous paintings. The works demonstrate both revelation and connecting a new vision from the familiar that's given to the public in the New York Times. As long as there is a daily paper, Fred Tomaselli has new opportunities to give the viewer something new and something that is traced from the earlier works. Tomaselli next revelation might just be on the newsstand tomorrow."Each morning," he concludes, "I wake up, plod out to the kitchen, grab my cup of coffee, spread open the paper, and tend to the garden of my times." 

Fred Tomaselli (born 1956, Santa Monica, CA) has had numerous solo exhibitions including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2014) and the University of Michigan Museum of Art (2014); a survey exhibition at Aspen Art Museum (2009) that toured to Tang and Brooklyn Museums(2010); The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2004) toured to four venues in Europe and the US; Albright-Knox Gallery of Art (2003); Site Santa Fe (2001); Palm Beach ICA (2001), and Whitney Museum of American Art (1999). His works have been included in international biennial exhibitions including Sydney (2010); Prospect 1 (2008); Site Santa Fe (2004); Whitney (2004) and others. Tomaselli’s work can be found in the public collections of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art; Brooklyn Museum; Albright Knox Gallery; and Museum of Contemporary Art, LA.

Orange County Museum of Art
850 San Clemente Drive
Newport Beach, California 92660

Phone | 949-759-1122
Admissions Desk: ext. 243
Fax | 949-759-5623


Wed-Sun 11 am - 5 pm
Fri (FREE) 11 am - 8 pm

The Museum is closed:
Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day,
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

The Museum will close at 3 pm on:
Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve
if these days fall on WED - SUN.

Administrative offices are closed:
11/27, 11/28, 12/24, 12/25, 12/26,
and 1/1.
February 15 – May 24, 2015

No comments:

Thoughts on Being in the Art World Part 2: Curating the Curated Curator

Installation view of group show "Extent" curated by Jill Moniz: A Quotidian Project Installation view of group show "...