Tomatâ du Plenty's art career started in the early 1980s after over a decade on stage in Genderfuck Theater troupes The Cockettes in San Francisco, Ze Whiz Kidz in Seattle and with various performers on stage at CBGB in New York City where bands such as The Ramones and Blondie would open for him.
Tomatâ created portraits of artists, writers, musicians, athletes and other cultural icons who influenced 20th Century Americana in a style reminiscent of German Expressionism, most notably influenced by the work of Egon Schiele.
du Plenty's art career began with a show at the Zero One Gallery in Hollywood (then owned by David Lee Roth of Van Halen) and subsequent solo and group shows followed in Los Angeles. In the late 1980s du Plenty moved to New Orleans and Miami Beach where the influence on his art took on subject matters rooted in the regional history of the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean. His final exhibition was in San Francisco at Vesuvio Cafe in 2000. In between, du Plenty's artwork caught the attention of collectors, gallerists and even CNN. He was famously quoted as stating that he "would rather sell 100 pictures for $25 than one picture for $2,500", a testament both to his desire to create prolifically and to the accessibility he wished the public to have to art.
Tomatâ du Plenty passed away in 2000 due to complications from AIDS, HIV and cancer.