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About R.L.

Baltimore County

R.L. Tillman's picture
Born and based in Baltimore, R.L. Tillman is an artist, teacher, and curator.  In his creative work, he twists and tweaks the visual culture of our time to explore issues in society, politics, and art. Often working in unusual venues, he uses many means: graphic media, installation, performance, publication, writing and more. R.L. has exhibited his art throughout the U.S. at sites including the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, the St. Louis Center of... more


This installation consists of empty cardboard containers imprinted with a series of weak propositions for self-improvement. These “suggestion boxes” evoke the the equally empty advice that typifies the banal social chatter we use to avoid discussion of larger issues.


I gathered these crushed bottle caps from an alley adjacent to a tavern near the place where I worked for many years. The inscrutable rebuses imposed on these images evoke the puzzles printed inside some beer bottle caps: poorly designed and impossible to interpret. Whether blurry-eyed or clear-headed, one must seek the counsel of others to determine even remotely plausible guesses at the "answer" of a bottle cap rebus. In that small way, these small printed failures offer a sense of community, even in a lonely place like a small, sad tavern that is so close, yet so far away.


Installed at a local private school, Fearful Symmetry presents merchandise from the (fictitious) William Blake Academy for Boys’ Spirit Shop. These printed promotional materials absurdly juxtapose the passionate zeal of sports fandom with the earnest fervor of the Romantic poet.


A selection of fine prints and printed products.

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R.L.'s Curated Collection

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