Free Paint is a series of free community painting events in public spaces led by artist Mat Tomezsko. Participants are invited to paint freely and learn about color relationships and mark-making while creating a large-scale collaborative painting.
The material produced during Free Paint events is re-worked into new compositions by Tomezsko. The resulting artwork bears the mark of the community who made it, and are exhibited publicly. Free Paint events were developed by Tomezsko during a community-based artist residency at the Tacony LAB through the Mural Arts Philadelphia in 2017. They have since taken place throughout Philadelphia with the support of community partners such as The Barnes Foundation, The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, the City of Philadelphia Parks Department, Fairmount Park Conservancy, Blick Art Supplies, and the Golden Seconds Program.
Using mostly found materials such as coupons from circulars and community newspapers, Price is a series of artworks that weaves together a wide range of themes. It records patterns of consumption and its effects, and shows how a wide breadth of issues are interrelated. The simple geometric compositions are derived from the golden ratio and outline a view of the contemporary world using intuitive associations rather than precise logic.
The series reimagines materials that are so ubiquitous they are almost invisible. Circulars are distributed weekly and are often seen strewn about the street. Asphalt makes up our physical surroundings and coal powers our daily lives. The materials are visually and conceptually linked through the imagery of organic matter (i.e. produce, meat, flowers) depicted in the art historical banquets, and supermarket ads. At once hyperlocal and global in scope, Price connects everyday experience to universal themes within a historic continuum.
Mat Tomezsko is an artist, writer, and curator living and working in Philadelphia, PA. He creates abstract paintings, public art installations, and community art projects informed by an urban aesthetic and based around people and language. His work was recognized by the 2017 Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review for outstanding public art. His artwork has been exhibited at art spaces such as the Crane Arts, Woodmere Art Museum, the Center For Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA), and Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia; Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL; the Delaware Contemporary in Wilmington, DE; and Thomas Hunter Projects in New York, NY. Tomezsko has created several public art projects including 14 Movements: A Symphony in Color and Words, a mile-long temporary mural installed in downtown Philadelphia during the 2016 Democratic National Convention; Look Long and Look Good, a series of 30 paintings currently installed along Main Street in Manayunk; and Flowering Axes, a mural in the 5th Street Vehicular Tunnel underneath the Ben Franklin Bridge.
His work is in the collection of the The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, Fox School of Business at Temple University, Capital One in Wilmington, DE; and various private collections in Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; Baltimore, MD; Portland, ME; and beyond.