I like finding edges, places where the recognizable becomes obscure, the sublime mixes with the horrid, and the exquisite meets the banal.
My investigation starts with imagery from my own photographs and videos, as well as appropriated images from books, magazines and film. I then rework and pattern this information, combine media, and subject it to a mark-making process. I build things up, and then turn around and tear things apart. The work is repetitive, layered, and at times even obsessive.
I am watching for things to shift. There is a point where flat can become infinitely spatial, where subject dissolves into ground.
During my work, questions of context, significance, and resolution come up. The challenge is to get over my preconceived notions of how things should be, and work openly to heighten what is before me. Ultimately, my goal is to make the situation more precarious on one hand, while on the other, more tangible.
Artist Bio / CV
Roy Tomlinson is known for his complex layered paintings, drawings, and digital works that play the edge between abstraction and figuration. He earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and MFA from UC Berkeley, where he was awarded the Eisner Prize. Tomlinson lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for three decades, teaching painting and drawing at the California College of the Arts for twelve years. He now resides in Southern Oregon. Tomlinson is a recipient of a Gottleib Foundation Grant, and his work has been included in many exhibitions, including: Photoo: The Subvention and Subversion of Photography at the Oakland Art Gallery, Surface Tension at Mills College Art Museum, and Being There at the Oakland Museum. He has had solo shows in San Francisco at the Stephen Wirtz Gallery, Gallery 16 and the SFMOMA Artists Gallery.
“He works with a touch, a withholding of follow-through, that inch by inch conveys his intent not to arrive at an image. The resulting pictures evoke photography's infection of our memories as a bleak malaise” - Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle