Through his densely rendered ink drawings, Ben Tolman creates crowded environments depicting multi-tiered dramas of city life. Human behavior and daily habits – specifically along social, economic and politic – are represented in a where’s-waldo manner. Most of his works are created of composite images, keeping the cities anonymous & fictional. Tolman’s visual tales, yet gloomy & enigmatic, are undeniably inviting. When taking a step back, the viewer becomes immersed in a extensive vision of the bizzare systems that shape our society. Through the larger scene, one may find a multitude of smaller stories coexisting.

Tolman’s complex vision is transposed onto the paper as a matrix of increasingly emboldened hatch marks. To achieve such drawings, the artist works an average of 12-hour days in his studio, with projects taking up to six months to complete.

Ben Tolman lives and works in Washington D.C., he received his MFA in 2012 from the American University and his BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design

Artist CV

Solo Exhibitions


December 7, 2017 to January 13, 2018
New Drawings
Galerie LJ, Paris, France


January 19 to February 25, 2017
Gallery Neptune & Brown, Washington, DC


February 27 to March 28, 2015
Flashpoint Gallery, Washington, DC


May 3 to June 1, 2014


The Fridge, Washington, DC


September 10 to October 9, 2011
A Few More Drawings
The Fridge, Washington, DC


Group Exhibitions


December 1, 2016 to January 14, 2017
Galerie LJ, Paris, France


August 13 to September 10, 2016
Fourth Wall
Booth Gallery NY, NY


August 03 to August 20, 2016
Jonathan LeVine Gallery, NY


July 7 to August 18, 2012
Academy 2012
Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, DC


March 19 2011 to April 9, 2011
Copro Gallery, Los Angeles CA


June 19 to August 15, 2010
Museum of the City of Mexico, Mexico


October 2009 to August 2010
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC




Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Omer Koc Collection, Istanbul, Turkey