Visionary Art: Fred Tomaselli

Visionary Art

Fred Tomaselli

Glassy, 2006
Mixed media, acrylic and resin on wood panel
12 X 12 inches

Fred Tomaselli is a part of the contemporary art scene showing at major galleries and museums around the world. He uses collage, painting and objects like marijuana leaves, pills of ecstasy, photos and other materials under an epoxy resin. The works are often very large in scale and are highly detailed using collage and painting. He likes to make multiple realities to intermix in the images and attempts to be ambiguous about the reality of the work to get the viewer to be aware of their own perception. He states, “For me art is primarily about perception and how it modifies perception… The picture is a window to another reality and there is this other world represented in a painting, This concept dovetailed uncannily with the rhetoric coming out of psychedelic drug culture, it also intersects with the idea of losing one’s self in this other place. Like something was so great you were diminished in by it. That sort of danger tangentially related to drugs and art. For me, when I started to putting psychoactive material in the work the pot leaves and that sort of thing, I was really thinking about rearranging the use value of those objects instead of traveling through the blood stream to alter consciousness they travel through the eyeballs… You can use them over and over again instead of it being consumed dissolved and excreted… they can be inexhaustibly psycho active.” (Fred Tomaselli except from interview at

Abductor, 2006
Leaves, photocollage, acrylic and resin on wood panel
96 X 78 inches

Fred Tomaselli says that his own psychedelic experiences have transformed his perception and inspired some of the imagery in his works.  The work invokes the sense of dissolution of boundaries and the micro and macro colliding. Often it is difficult to tell if the image is portraying the vastness of a star filled universe or the infinite combinations of chemicals the make up our environment and bodies. Human beings composed of thousands and geometrical chemical molecules creating the vary substance of who we are shown in a backdrop of deeply layered pattern freeing the viewer from the need to relate to observable landscape.

Halo of Flies, 2006
Mixed media, acrylic and resin on wood panel
18 X 18 inches
Avian Flower Serpent, 2006
Leaves, Photocollage, Acrylic, Gouache and Resin on wood panel
84 X 72 1/2 inches

Guilty, 2005
13 X 13 inches
Edition of 100

Geode, 2006
Leaves, photocollage, Acrylic, gouache and resin on wood panel
24 X 24 inches
Fred Tomaselli
Fred Tomaselli (American, b. 1956). Untitled (Expulsion), 2000. Leaves, pills, insects, acrylic, photocollage, and resin on wood panel, 84 x 120 in. (213.4 x 304.8 cm). Collection of Peter Norton
Fred Tomaselli, Hummingbird Bird, Courtesy of James Cohen Gallery
Fred Tomaselli
Detail of Fred Tomaselli’s work
Fred Tomaselli, ‘After Utah Saint’, Iris print, 46.3×33.7cm, 2000.
Fred Tomaselli
Fred Tomaselli (American, b. 1956). Big Raven, 2008. Acrylic, photocollage, and resin on wood panel, 84 x 72 in. (213.4 x 182.9 cm). Private collection, courtesy of the artist, White Cube, London, and James Cohan Gallery, New York
Fred Tomaselli (American, b. 1956). Echo, Wow, and Flutter, 2000. Leaves, pills, photocollage, acrylic, and resin on wood panel, 84 x 120 in. (213.4 x 304.8 cm). Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. James G. Forsyth Fund

By Transpersonal Spirit



3 thoughts on “Visionary Art: Fred Tomaselli

Add yours

    1. The text has both parenthetical citation as well as a bibliography at the end of the post. In this case I used exclusively an audio interview. The images were found online at a variety of sources including art galleries and blogs. If the images listed their source it is listed below the image. I have been aware of Fred Tomaselli’s work for many years so it was easy to put the article together and find the images I was most fond of.

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