Fred Tomaselli’s NYT Drawings Highlight Global Issues

A practitioner of psychedelic dreams, artist Fred Tomaselli turns mindscapes into visual landscapes. Layering print media, marijuana leaves, pills, and paint under layers of resin, Tomaselli constructs networks of awe-inspiring elements that come together to form a transcendental vision of parts of the universe. Fascinated by youthful experiences, spiritual allegories, and current events, Tomaselli takes on big and small issues, not ruled by size.

His current survey show, which began at the Aspen Art Museum in 2009 and is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, offers a stunning body of work in a variety of media. New to the show is a dynamic group of altered press photos from the covers of the New York Times, as well as a powerful pair of paintings from 2010, depicting a crazy owl made up of concentric, circular forms and a hungry starling, anxious to gulp down Tomaselli’s iconographic past.

Creating a touchstone for important global issues — from the war in Afghanistan to the discovery of underwater uranium in Bolivia — Tomaselli turns our mediated, consumer-saturated world into a marvelous play land, where we can  jump on a ride to the next realm.

Fred Tomaselli’s mid-career survey is on view at the Brooklyn Museum through January 2.

Click through below for a gallery of images.


Apr. 20, 2009, 2009. Gouache and collage on printed watercolor paper, 8 1/4″ x 10″ © Fred Tomaselli. Image courtesy of the James Cohan Gallery, New York