31 December 2023

Ocotillo Nocturne

Those long ghostly black fingers, visible in silhouette, are the branches of the Ocotillo cactus. The 'vine cactus' is indigenous to the desert of the Imperial Valley.  Tucked into the southeasternmost corner of California, Ocotillo  is a land of little rain.

"I want people to get lost in the work. I want to seduce people into it and I want people to get lost inside the world of the work. In that way the work is pre-Modernist. I throw all my obsessions and loves into the work, and I try not to be too embarrassed about any of it. I love gardening. I love watching birds and all that gets into the work." - Fred Tomaselli

His light-filled geometric patterns pulse with energy and if they appear familiar yet difficult to place in any known cosmology, this only intensifies our impression of deep time. Surely, this feeling is evoked by the desert at dusk.

Image: Fred Tomaselli - Ocotillo Nocturne, 1993, acrylic, synthetic, resin, pills, and leaves on wood panel, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC.


Tania said...

A glittering and profound work, may it be the same for this new year, Jane. Best wishes.

Jane A. Librizzi said...

Tania, there are so many ways to look at this image but just drinking it in is enough for me. I think it is a beautiful way to begin a new year.