David Tomb’s Rockfowl and Other Wonders Wows at Fresno Art Museum

In Rockfowl and Other Wonders by David Tomb, now showing at the Fresno Art Museum, the Bay Area artist’s personal passion for birds, nature and the preservation thereof is reflected in his impressive large-scale installations.

Rockfowl and Other Wonders by David Tomb

Rockfowl and Other Wonders by David Tomb

Lifelong birder David Tomb has as ardent a commitment to the conservation of species and their habitats as he does to his rendering of them.

Tomb’s Rockfowl, a mixed-media piece depicting a rainforest in Ghana stands 27 feet wide and 11 feet tall

Detail of the elusive Picathartes in David Tomb’s “Rockfowl”

Standing amongst the giant collage and mixed media representations of birds and their natural habitats in the exhibition, the artist succeeds in his intent: his love for our feathered friends becomes contagious.


“Making artwork of birds is a way to connect and personalize my experience of seeing birds. The ultimate goal is to have people think: That animal is incredible… we need to save them!” – David Tomb

Winged wonder: a detail from David Tomb’s mammoth work “Rock and Rockfowl.” Photo / Fresno Art Museum

“You’ll be amazed at the size alone of some of these works, including the centerpiece “Rockfowl” mixed-media piece, depicting a rainforest in Ghana, which at 27 feet wide and 11 feet tall makes you feel you’re about to enter a jungle.” – Donald Munro, The Munro Review

Artist David Tomb speaks to museum-goers at The Fresno Art Museum on opening night
Great Blue Heron, painting on wood, mixed media, 31″ × 41″ × 33″, 2017

More details from the installation:


“He has a fascinating style: His paintings of birds are startlingly realistic, while the rest of the mixed-media tableau he creates, which includes three-dimensional butterflies and foliage, is much looser. The result is the artist’s impression of the habitat, which somehow comes across as packing a more powerful emotional punch than if it were just done straight documentary-style.” – Donald Munro, The Munro Review

David Tomb, Great Philippine Eagle, 2012, Mixed media and collage, 128″ x 210″
David Tomb, Rufuos Hornbill (detail from Great Philippine Eagle)
David Tomb, Great Philippine Eagle (detail)
David Tomb, Great Philippine Eagle (detail)

Other paintings in the exhibit include the following:

David Tomb, Aplomado Falcon Bat Hunting detail, Watercolor and gouache on paper, 29.5″ x 83″
David Tomb, Blue capped Kingfisher, 41″ × 30″, gouache, watercolor on paper, 2015
Blue capped Kingfisher (detail)
David Tomb, Yellow-breasted Fruit Doves, 41½” × 29½”, painted papers pasted partially or completely on paper, 2012
Yellow-breasted Fruit Doves (detail)
David Tomb, Alpomado Falcon and detail
David Tomb, title unknown
detail of above painting
Artist David Tomb flanked by Peter Barto and Howard Flax at the opening night of the show.

Rockfowl and Other Wonders by David Tomb will be on display through June 10, 2018 at The Fresno Art Museum

images of opening night courtesy of Jeepney Projects

David Tomb

Curator: Michele Ellis Pracy, FAM Executive Director & Chief Curator
Exhibition support: Daniel R. Martin Family Foundation
Fresno Art Museum | 2233 North First Street Fresno, CA 93703

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