Heryk Tomassini was born in 1974 in Puerto Rico. The rhetorical emphasis of his work is on the politics of Puerto Rico, coupled with an interest in structures and objects that appeal to the masses. His work aims to expose the contradictions and ambiguities of colonialism, while navigating the socio-economic layers of the past and present in relation to Puerto Rican culture. However, in Tomassini’s reality, there is little space for speculation: his upbringing in Las Vegas, Cataño, and Bayamón has been integral to his work and continues to inform the way he presents materials in his installations, which are often site-specific. As a child, the artist gathered materials to make furniture and other objects of necessity. Today, he selects objects from his surroundings, creating installations from discarded materials. Tomassini also spent four years studying architecture in The New School of Architecture at Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, contributing to his precise, clean lines amidst the collection of recycled objects.
He is currently pursuing his MFA at the University of Pennsylvania, where is the recipient of the Dean’s Diversity Scholarship from PennDesign. Tomassini’s recent solo shows include Atrincherados (2017; Diagonal, PR), My Sweatshop Bitch (2015; ArtLab, PR), Bronx Calling: The Fourth AIM Biennial (2017; Bronx Museum, NY), Pound of Flesh (2017; San Juan, PR), New Perspectives (2015; Concepto Hudson, NY), among others. Awards include the Award for Excellence at the 9th Semi-Annual Competition of Dave Bown Projects.