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In this video, Fred Tomaselli discusses the “burden of history” that young artists face amongst a vast history of art-making and the influences that inspire his own work. Ever the idiosyncratic collector, Tomaselli amasses actual pills and plants along with a range of images—among them flowers, birds, and anatomical illustrations—carefully cut from books and magazines. Pulling from this visual archive, Tomaselli creates baroque paintings that combine unusual materials and paint under layers of clear epoxy resin. He collages these materials into multilayered combinations of the real, the photographic, and the painterly. Drawing upon a range of art historical sources from Renaissance frescoes to 1960s Minimalism, and eastern and western decorative traditions such as quilts and mosaics, Tomaselli's paintings explode in mesmerizing patterns that appear to grow organically across his compositions. Fred Tomaselli, a survey exhibition of Tomaselli’s work from the late 1980s to the present, was featured at the Tang Museum in 2010 and co-organized by the Aspen Art Museum. CREDITS | Producer/Camera/Editor: Vickie Riley. Interview: Ian Berry. 2nd Camera: Kevin Colmar. Tomaselli artwork courtesy of the artist. Historical images public domain. ©The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, 2010

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