Toby Rosser exhibits at The Drive By Gallery, October 2015. He is a painter, fabricator and graphic designer.
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Toby Rosser was born in New Milford Connecticut. He is a painter, fabricator and graphic designer. Growing up in rural Connecticut with artistic parents, Rosser was exposed to an artistic culture and began drawing and painting at an early age. His natural talent became apparent during his high school years. In his own words Rosser stated;
“I was sent to a conservative New England boarding school where, in my senior year, I was caught using hallucinogens. With only 3 months left to graduate, the faculty offered me a form of solitary confinement in lieu of expulsion for my infraction. I had to remain in an attic dormitory as my meals and schoolwork were brought to me. I could no longer socialize with other students. This punishment became a blessing. To ease my confinement I obsessively created several pages of ink drawings. Upon my graduation from high school I submitted these pieces to Pratt Institute in New York and was subsequently accepted into their BFA program.”
During his years at Pratt Rosser studied both sculpture , painting and graphic design. In his senior year he entered into a mentorship program with the minimalist, Carl Andre. After graduating Pratt Institute, the artist worked various jobs including a short spell as a blues musician. He earned his first solo exhibit in 1980 at the Valsamos Gallery in Brooklyn.
Essentially his approach, or personal style, was born out of a necessity to draw with paint in reaction to imagery on the surface. Rosser developed a style where images from a desktop printer were pasted onto the canvas surface. The paper printouts produced a type of neglected billboard to paint on. This procedure allowed for improvisational application of line and color in reaction to the imagery on the surface without the concern for rendering a narrative subject. Very often the images are completely negated and covered by paint.
“I do not consciously choose imagery because of any narrative, editorial or symbolic aspect. There are no predetermined themes or subjects in these paintings”.
Over time this procedure developed a visual language that would allow the artist to modulate pictorial space into organic structures of line and color.
Influences: Cliff Westerman, Carl Andre, Philip Guston, R. Crumb