Julien Tomasello

Tea with Hockney
24″x108″x3″ triptych; collage on canvas frames (wood, wire, acrylic, watercolor, colored
pencil, paper, felt, fabric, ribbon, beads, sequins, photocopies); 2021

Julien Tomasello
San Francisco, California, USA


“The Secrets of Summer” is an ongoing series of collage-on-panel works. Each work possesses a narrative of “autobiographical fiction”. These narratives blend actual events, dreams, and desires I experienced as an LGBTQ+ youth and young adult, during the 1980s and 1990s, with threads of fictions influenced through the books, music, films, television, and art I absorbed during this time. Escapism was a panacea to the isolation and fear I felt during my youth. The world around me seemed steeped in conformity, homophobia, and later, darkness as AIDS began its ravage of the LGBTQ+ community I hoped to become part, and made the expression of love seem toxic.

Collage is the medium of choice for my series. Collage was one of the first art practices I fell in love with as a child artist. I now, as I did then, use the pre-existing hues, patterns, and textures of pre-fabricated materials to communicate the world as I envision it. There is intimacy, control, and escape in the meticulousness, obsessiveness, and repetitiveness of my collage method.


I am an American, LGBTQ+, multidisciplinary artist. I commonly work in collage, sculpture, and video. Select exhibition venues include the deYoung Museum, Susquehanna Museum of Art, Lancaster Museum of Art, The Royal Society of American Art, Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University, International House Philadelphia, and Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery at Tyler School of Art, Temple University. My study of art took place at Parsons School of Design, New York, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. In addition to my work as an artist, I am the Art & Photography Editor of the books: Queer Icons and Their Cats (Chronicle Books, 2021) and The New York Times best-seller PANTONE on Fashion: A Century of Color in Design (Chronicle Books, 2014), Co-Author of the book ART + FASHION: Collaborations and Connections Between Icons (Chronicle Books, 2015), and former Photography Editor of the LGBTQ+ magazine, OUT. I live and create in San Francisco, California.


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Writing on the Wall [NYC 1991]
12″x72″x2″ triptych; collage on canvas frames (acrylic, watercolor, colored pencils, paper, fabric, thread, Swarovski Crystals, sequins, plastic tubing, photocopies); 2019
Dream House
12″x50″x1″ triptych; collage on canvas boards mounted on wood panel (acrylic, wood, paper, fabric, thread, Swarovski Crystals, rhinestones, beads, buttons, shells, sequins, photocopies); 2018
Last Dance
18″x72″ diptych; collage on canvas frames (acrylic, paper, fabric, thread, Swarovski Crystals, rhinestones, sequins); 2017
Age of Consent, 1988
9″x36.5″ triptych; collage on canvas frames (acrylic, paper, fabric, safety pins, thread,
rhinestones); 2015