Tobias Tovera

Born in Sacramento, California
Lives and works in Yucca Valley, California


Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2022, Elemental, Slate Contemporary Gallery, Oakland, CA

2018, Morphē, SJCC Gallery, San Jose, CA

2018, Permutation, Bank of America Tower, San Francisco, CA

2017, Oceanus, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2016, Uncharted Terrain, Local Language Art, Oakland, CA

2016, Morphosis, Peralta Studios, Oakland, CA

2014, Hermetica, Peninsula Museum of Art, Burlingame, CA

2013, Transmutation, PAI Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2013, Life Forms, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2009, Transmutation Unfolding, 555 California St. Plaza Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2005, The Medicine of Space, Melting Point Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2003, New Work, Akimbo Gallery, Sacramento, CA

2001, Substance, North Gallery, CCA, Oakland, CA

2000, Deliverance, Ortiz Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1999, Soul Impressions, CCA, Tecoah and Thomas Galleries, San Francisco, CA

1999, Façade, Midtown Mosaic, Sacramento, CA


Selected Group Exhibitions:

2023, Crystalline, Mojave Desert Studio, Yucca Valley, CA

2023, Highway 62 Collective Art Exhibition, Twenty-Nine Palms Art Gallery, Twenty-Nine Palms, CA

2023, Greater Joshua Tree Art Expo, Juried exhibition, JT Gallery of Contemporary Art, Yucca Valley, CA

2023, Seattle Art Fair, Slate Contemporary Gallery, Lumen Field, Seattle, WA

2023, Art Market San Francisco, Slate Contemporary Gallery, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

2023, Joshua Tree Art Gallery, Super Bloom, Joshua Tree, CA

2022, Joshua Tree Art Gallery, HWY 62 Art Tours, Joshua Tree, CA

2022, Ripples, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA

2022, Art Market San Francisco, Slate Contemporary Gallery, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

2021, Elements of Nature, SBHG Gallery, Cornerstone, Sonoma, CA

2021, Summer Color, SBHG Gallery, Cornerstone, Sonoma, CA

2020, Alumni Artists-in-Residence Exhibition, Lucid Art Foundation, Inverness, CA

2020, Annual Artists-in-Residence Exhibition, Lucid Art Foundation, Inverness, CA

2020, AAF, Spring Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2020, eARTh, Bankhead Gallery, Livermore, CA

2019, AAF, Fall Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2019, Portal, Collaborative site-specific installation, artist talk, NES, Skagaströnd , Iceland

2019, Altered States, Marin Community Foundation, Novato, CA

2019, AAF, Spring Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2018, AAF Singapore, State of the Arts Gallery, Singapore, Malaysia

2018, Invisible Light, Artist Talk, Betti Ono Gallery, Oakland, CA

2018, Root Division's 17th Annual Art Auction, Root Division Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018, AAF, Fall Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2018, Art for AIDS Art Auction Benefit, City View at the Metreon, San Francisco, CA

2018, AAF, Summer Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2018, Invisible Light, Ark Project, CAS, Bahia Salvador, Brazil

2018, AAF, Spring Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2017, AAF, Fall Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2017, Art for AIDS Art Auction Benefit, City View at the Metreon, San Francisco, CA

2017, Root Division's 16th Annual Art Auction, Root Division Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2017, A'DAM International Art Fair, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2017, Origin, Ark Project, Oakland, CA

2016, AAF, Winter Art Fair, JCOs Art Haus, Los Gatos, CA

2016, DIFFASF, 'Shine,' NWBLK Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016, Root Division's 15th Annual Art Auction, Root Division Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016, Symbiosis, Ark Project, Oakland, CA

2016, The Alchemist, Root Division Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2015, Root Division's 14th Annual Art Auction, Root Division Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2015, DIFFASF, NWBLK Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2015, Bang!, Bass & Reiner Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2014, Be My Guest, Galerie EGP, Paris, France

2014, Suite Works, Museum of Contempoary Art Georgia, Atlanta, GA

2014, Root Division's 13th Annual Art Auction, San Francisco, CA

2014, Wabi Sabi, Impermanence, imperfection and the accidental, Alter Space Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2014, 40 and Under, Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento, CA

2014, Fourth Strike, 100 Performances for the Hole, SomArts, San Francisco, CA

2014, Happy, JCO Gallery, Los Gatos, CA

2013, 13th Annual Art Auction, SomArts, San Francisco, CA

2013, Faith, Gallery 85, San Jose, CA

2013, Permutation Unfolding, Root Division, San Francisco, CA

2013, Animate Objects, Sacred Door Gallery, Venice, CA

2012, Third Strike, 100 Performances for the Hole, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA

2012, Wix SF, Root Division Exhibit, San Francisco, CA

2011, Corporate Showroom Exhibit, Conde House, San Francisco, CA

2010, Japan Benefit, Arttitud, San Francisco, CA

2010, Versace Launch Event, Roche Bobois, San Francisco, CA

2010, 3rd Annual Art Opening, Barber Lounge, San Francisco, CA

2009, SFS Benefit for the De Young Museum of San Francisco, CA

2009, Fortuitous Moments, Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2008, Bridge Art Fair, Catalina Hotel, Miami Beach, FL

2008, Compass!, Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2007, Art Fair Now, Claremont Hotel, Miami Beach, FL

2007, Salon d'Ete 2007, Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2006, Raw Egg, Nature Theatre, Yugen Presents, San Francisco, CA

2006, Moksha, Nature Theatre, The Milk Bar International Film Festival, Oakland, CA

2006, Breaking Point, Nature Theatre, SOMarts, San Francisco, CA

2005, Nova Express, Nature Theatre, Counterpulse, San Francisco, CA

2004, How Can You Resist, 9th Biennial Festival of New Media, Los Angeles, CA

2004, Uncharted Terrain, Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, CA

2004, 3rd Annual Tiburon International Film Festival, Tiburon, CA

2002, Delirium, A Symposium of Film and Video Art, W Hotel, San Francisco, CA


Bibliography:

2020, Stay in Studio Project, Interview, Peter Foucault, (August, 100 California Artists, Shelterinstudio.org)

2020, Meditation & Engaging viewers with the Forces of Nature, Alina Young, (May, Artelier.com)

2020, Tobias Tovera on Elements, Alchemy, & Earth Minerals, Alina Young, (April, Artelier.com)

2020, The Visual Alchemy of Tobias Tovera, Mark Levy, Morphosis Catalogue Essay, (January, p.46-50)

2019, Artist Walls, Artelier, 2019 Catalogue, (October, p.398-417)

2017, American Artwork, Tom Palmer, 2018 Issue, (September, p.231)

2015, Art Voices, Bill Sasser, Permutation, Winter Issue, (January, p.120-121)

2014, Studio Journal Knock, Isao Nishiyama, The Holy Flower, Issue 2, (July, p.77-89)

2013, The SF Chronicle, Kenneth Baker, Memory, Color as a Framework, (August 10 p.2)

2013, The Collective Snap Shot, Natasha Guterres, The Collective Magazine, (USA September Issue p.4)

2013, Transmutation, Alexander Farrow, These Hands and Eyes are not Two, Exhibition Essay, October)

2013, Permutation Unfolding, Victoria Gannon, Catalogue Essay, (March p.1)

2013, Root Division 10-Year Anniversary Catalogue, (April, p.98)

2012, Studio Visit Magazine, Drew Katz, Volume Sixteen, (January, p.208)

2011, MFA Now, Juried Exhibition Catalogue, (February, p.150)

2009, Fortuitous Moments, Victoria Gannon, Catalogue Essay, (March p.1-2)

2008, Bridget Art Fair Miami, Micaela Gallery, Catalogue Statement, (April p.1)

2005, The Medicine of Space, Leigh Markopoulos, Catalogue Essay, (November, 27 p.1-2)

2002, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Dolcinea Gonzales, Art, (October, 23-30 p. 86)

2001, The Oakland Tribune, Frosene Philips, Art and Entertainment, (September, 9-10 p.34)

2000, SF Weekly, Anne Marie Mastandrea, San Francisco Art Review (March, 20-25, p.104)


Education:

2024, TransArt Institute, Liverpool, United Kingdom, Master of Fine Arts Candidate, Creative Practice

2011, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California, Painting

2002, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, California, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Sculpture


Residency Awards:

2021, Yucca Valley Material Lab, a creative platform comprised of intensive artist residencies, instructional workshops and public art event programs. Yucca Valley, CA

2019, Lucid Art Foundation, a foundation established to support artists who explore the concepts of arts and consciousness. Inverness, CA

2019, NES, a process-oriented residency that strives to cultivate an environment where artists can craft their experience through conceptual development, research, intervention and experimentation. Skagaströnd, Iceland

2018, CAS, Casa de Artes Sustentáveis, a community art space devoted to the sustainability of artistic projects, supporting the networks of cultural production and alternative entrepreneurship of the city of Salvador. Bahia, Salvador, Brazil.

2016, Local Language Art, a creative hub and fabrication studio that sources talent, promotes artistic thought, and produces unique custom art programs. Oakland, CA

2015, Ark Project, (founded) an international artist residency program centered around the co-creation process. The programs mission is to promote intercultural dialogue and artist mobility. Oakland, CA

2013, Performance Art Institute, a multifaceted art space dedicated to performance art and issues that matter in our society and culture. San Francisco, CA

2012, Root Division, a community arts and education organization in San Francisco, CA


Biography:

Tobias Tovera is an American visual artist whose work explores the intersection of nature, art, and consciousness. By experimenting with alchemical materials and processes, Tovera creates what  he calls “transmuted spaces,” places where energy can shift, change, or renew itself. From the diffusion of mineral pigments to the permutation of base metals, his work reveals the connection between the physical, metaphysical, and elemental realms, through which new forms are created.  His process is an attempt to capture physical and psychic topographies, informed by the way natural materials interact, transform, and self-organize. Each layer that is formed, each element introduced, is part of an intuitive interaction between Tovera and the materials themselves: a performative ritual that embodies his meditative states.

Tobias Tovera was born in Sacramento, California. He studied at the California College of the Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the TransArt Institute in the United Kingdom.  His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the United States, Asia, and Europe, and is part of numerous private, public, and corporate collections. He is the founder of the Ark Project, an international artist residency program. He has been awarded residencies at Lucid Art Foundation, Root Division, and NES Iceland, and has been published in American Artwork, Studio Journal Knock, Studio Visit, and Art Voices Magazine. Tovera lives and works in the Mojave Desert of Southern California.

'We expect art to give us a sense of connection to the world and ourselves. We expect nature to give us the same thing. Tovera’s work, in its embrace of entropy and fluidity, its references to and imitation of the natural world, plays on this parallel set of expectations. Are his paintings nature or art? Maybe they are both.'  -Victoria Gannon


Statement:

My art practice explores the intersection between nature, art, and consciousness through processes of alchemy and automatism. I use natural materials that metamorphose over time to capture physical and psychic topographies that are informed by the way the materials interact, transform, and self-organize.

From the diffusion of mineral pigments to the permutation of base metals, I attempt to reveal the connection between the physical, metaphysical, and elemental worlds and how these dimensions coalesce to create new form. Salt crystallization, metal oxidation, and the diffusion of pigment, display a differentiation of forms that create intricate fractal patterns. These formations show the natural processes that happen in the universe, a cosmic unfolding reflected in the way the medium accumulates and transforms. I use the square and the circle as constructs for the natural, employing them as metaphors for the membranes or conduits between forms that initially appear separate but are connected. Each layer that is formed, each element combined, is part of an intuitive movement between my hand and the materials themselves: a performative ritual that embodies a meditative state. 

My residence in the Mojave Desert has taught me that nature provides all the nourishment and energy we need to transform our reality and create sustainable futures. I believe that art can be a vehicle for transformation towards symbiosis and harmony with nature, spirit, and the cosmos. In our increasingly artificial world, I aim to facilitate a return to nature that promotes the shift to a higher frequency of consciousness, in the pursuit of building a new ecology for all life on Earth.


Selected Public & Corporate Collections:

Marriot Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Hilton Hotel, Los Cabos, Mexico

Chinachem Hollywood Centre, Central, Hong Kong

Victory Harbour, North Point, Hong Kong

Giant Mountain, Taichung City, Taiwan

Fairmont Empress, Victoria, BC, Canada

Stanton Hospital, Yellowknife, NT, Canada

Kaiser Permanente, Salmon Creek, Vancouver, Washington

Hyatt Regency, Chicago, Illinois

Bank of America Tower, Chicago, Illinois

Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

The Alexandria, Torrey Pines, San Diego, California

Renaissance Newport Beach Hotel, Newport Beach, California

Grand Hyatt at SFO, San Francisco, California

Delta Dental, Oakland and San Francisco offices, California

Hotel Zoe, San Francisco, California

Charles River Associates, Oakland, California

Shutterfly Headquarters, Redwood City, California

Montage Healdsburg, Healdsburg, California

Six 50 Live Apartments, Menlo Park, California

AC Hotel, Bentonville, Arizona

The Westin Galleria Houston, Houston, Texas

Hilton Tapestry Collection, Basalt, Colorado

Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, Aurora, Colorado

Timbers Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek, Colorado

Hilton West Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Florida

The Westin Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida

Norwegian Cruise Line, Vista, Miami, Florida

Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, London, United Kingdom

Donna Karan Cosmetics Company, New York, New York

Berluti, Paris, France


Selected Private Collections:

Virginia Japp, Sutherland, Australia

Nicholas Bletsas, Richmond, Australia

Helena Sosnowska, Melboune, Australia

Amy-Lee Sunman, Christchurch, New Zealand

Kevin Contzen, Vancouver, Canada

Jason and Rachel Adler, New York, NY

Evelyn Lee, New York, NY

Julie DeMaio, Brooklyn, NY

Sarah Carson Cloud, Brooklyn, NY

Leota LLC, Brooklyn, NY

Sheri West, New Canaan, CT

Erin Surette, Baltimore, MD

Alexander Scheeler, Towson, MD

Lori Tsuruda, Boston, MA

Desiree Spinner, Osterville, MA

Emily Eland, Atlanta, GA

Kathleen Mones, Milton, GA

Gena Casagrande, Leesburg, VA

Paul Martin, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Jenna Papesh, Orlando, FL

Julie Maskulka, Chicago, IL

Chris Keating, Minneapolis, MN

Sophie Derrickson, Wilson, WY

Kerry Miller, Austin, TX

Kristina Wilson, Houston, TX

Laurel Gandler, Houston, TX

Meredith Beau, Little Rock, AZ

Meredith Beau, Portland, OR

Jason and Allison Bowes, Portland, OR

Sarah Bielski, Lake Oswego, OR

Illana Sparrow, Los Angeles, CA

Saree Silverman, Los Angeles, CA

Dalton Robertson, Los Angeles, CA

Mona Pouratian, Los Angeles, CA

Meryl Zwanger, San Diego, CA

Suzanne Obst, San Francisco, CA

Amy Thorne, San Francisco, CA

Jennifer Trahan, San Franciso, CA

Jonathan Deason, San Francisco, CA

Mirsada Kurtovic, San Francisco, CA

Markus Hawkins, San Francisco, CA

Genevieve Palogan and Jack Burrows, San Francisco, CA

Shay Gilmore and Mark de La Rosa, San Francisco, CA

Tonny Tully and Kent Johnson, San Francisco, CA

Rosemarie and Aldo Leonardi, San Francisco, CA

Brian and Kourtney Parry, San Francisco, CA

Mark A. Hagopian, San Francisco, CA

Shah Nagree, San Francisco, CA

Hermann Hans, San Francisco, CA

Christopher William Null, San Francisco, CA

Scott Morris and David Sawyer, Sebastopol, CA

Michael and Jessica Yee, Marin, CA

Sydney Rainin, San Anselmo, CA

Reiner Mim, Mountain View, CA

Gillian and John Martin, Menlo Park, CA

John and Suzanne Pinheiro, Santa Cruz, CA

Mei Su, Atherton, CA

Karllyn Neel, Oakland & Indian Wells, CA

Breanne Schaap, Visalia, CA

Mike Swager, Sacramento, CA

Lorraine Blanco, Sacramento, CA

Amber Brewer, Sacramento, CA