Art by Tocino Grasiento: National Art Exhibit (USA)

National Art Exhibit

Artist Portfolio Magazine

Tocino Grasiento

I use needle, thread and fabric as my medium for a clean, odor free, chemical free, environmentally safe, quiet, portable, compact (foldable), economical alternative to more traditional mediums, like painting, drawing and printmaking.

I entered art school at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1990 and it was while studying painting and printmaking that I started working with fabric. I had seen a photo of Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell with a fabric doll in his pocket and wanted to make one for myself. I began with anonymous voodoo dolls, but soon began making doll-portraits of my friends. Not being flush with cash and sick of breathing paint fumes, I decided to move away from painting and make fabric my medium of choice. I started working on my first two-dimensional piece in 1998. A love of American folk art and quilts led me to experiment with “painting” using fabric and my first 10 x 10 inch square was crafted. Two years later, I completed a quilt of 30 squares featuring images pulled from the musical world, pop culture and my own life.

A pattern or format has developed in my work. I used to do very large paintings. They would usually be 5-feet tall and 6-feet wide. I enjoyed the freedom to paint strokes with the full radius of my arm. I found that most people do not have the space for art of this size. I began working in fabric and did a full sized bed quilt comprised of 30 10 x 10 inch squares. Each square was a detailed image. The full size of the quilt was 6 feet wide by 7 feet tall. Again I made a large piece of art that most people don’t have room to accommodate. People also started asking if they could buy individual squares from the piece. I did not want to break apart the quilt, so this set me on the path of my latest work of individual square pieces that range from 10×10 to 13×13 inch fabric square pieces.

My subject matter I return to again and again is music and musicians, product packaging, celebrities and events from my life. I have increased my use of a photo light box and prints of images to make some of images more realistic and to help with the layout of text. Since I started the fabric art, I have returned to school and completed an associates degree in graphic design. I now work as a designer for a small non-profit in Falls Church, Va., designing both print and Web publications for the company. The school and work experiences have brought a bit of a designer’s organization to my messy folk art style. I think the organization has helped me clarify the message I am trying to communicate in the art.

Title Mohammad Ali vs. hate Medium fabric Size 12″x18″
Title Whiteys on the moon Medium fabric Size 12″x12″
Title Jah vengeance Medium digital illustration, vector art Size 3″x10″ or any proportional size

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