Fred Tomaselli was born in Santa Monica, California in 1956. In 1982 he received his Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Drawing from California State University at Fullerton. After college he moved to the Arts District in Los Angeles and became one of the first artists in the 1980s downtown L.A. art scene, fostering ties to the growing punk and new wave music communities.
Tomaselli’s paintings combine unlikely materials such as medicinal herbs, prescription pills and hallucinogenic plants alongside images cut from books and magazines. Flowers, birds, butterflies, arms, legs and noses are combined into dazzling patterns that spread over the surface of the painting like a beautiful virus or growth.
Tomaselli has had solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum (New York), the White Cube (London), The Rose Art Museum (Massachusetts), Albright-Knox Gallery of Art (Buffalo, NY) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), among others. Tomaselli lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.