Blaise Tobia

February 3-26, 2017

Plain & Fancy

Tobia’s work always takes serial or sequential form, often pairing images and texts or images and images. He is interested in the way that photographs convey meaning, the way they function as formal/esthetic objects, and the way that these two aspects of image-based art interact. This series Plain & Fancy, utilizes large-scale paired images that strongly contrast in their nature: one spare and monochromatic and the other dense, textured, and lush with color. They represent the outside and inside of Amish horse carriages and, further, the Amish concepts of public/exterior plainness and private/interior freedom to indulge personal taste.

Tobia is a fine artist working with photographic imagery. He earned his MFA in Visual Arts from UCSD, having worked with artists in a variety of fields including Allan Kaprow, David Antin, Newton Harrison and Fred Lonidier. Given this multi-disciplinary start, he has considered himself throughout his career as a fine artist utilizing photographic imagery rather than as a photographer. His primary subjects have been the urban landscape and global material culture. He has photographed extensively throughout the U.S., Europe (especially Italy and Britain) and China. He is also a teacher of art and a long-time member of the faculty of Drexel University, where he is a professor in the Department of Art & Art History.