Timothy Tompkins

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Timothy Tompkins received his BFA, in 2003, from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California. He now lives and works in Los Alamitos, California.


Tompkins digitally alters his own or found photographs, breaking down the image to about a dozen core colors and blurring the contours. This image is then projected onto a large aluminum panel so that the artist can create an under-drawing. The painting is then executed using high gloss commercial enamel sign paints.[1]


Tompkins uses hyper-real colors inspired by Southern California. In the 2005 exhibition, Natural Selection, at the Davidson Galleries in Seattle Tompkins exhibit several works including “Samsung, Noon Effect”. This piece replicates a L.A. building with the Samsung logo stacked on above. Tompkins uses light creams, bright blues and mauves to capture the scene. His work is void of people, it focuses instead on the created environment.[2]

In his 2007 solo show, Left Overs, at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Tompkins displayed seven still lifes inspired by the remaining products on Target department stores clearance racks. He said he was inspired by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s still-life paintings that capture peasant pottery alongside silver tumblers and copper pots. Tomkins’ still lives are composed of wreaths, synthetic flowers, candles, and glass vases arranged on metal store shelves. The bright red sales stickers are sometimes painted onto objects but appear to be attached to the surface of the painting itself. These works seem to call attention to the history between art and commerce.[3]

Tompkins’ 2007 Media Series is derived from images taken from newspapers with the purpose of creating a longer life for these images of consumption. In his Rocket Blast Series, Tompkins represents several launches of different nations. He focuses on the fuzzier areas of these photos to highlight the mystery found within the images.[4]

During the 2008 exhibition, First Line, at the Museo De Las Americas in Denver, Tompkins was asked to respond to a horizon line drawn across the wall of the Museo. The result was his Interstate Sublime series that captures several scenes of the new American landscape- the highway.[5] The perspective of these works is from behind the wheel of a vehicle as it approaches the horizon. Tompkins’ paintings illustrate the American landscape today as one in which nature and the built environment cannot be separated.


Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions

Public collections

External links