Tom Baril was born in Connecticut in 1952 and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. In 1979 he began working as a printer for photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. He gained a reputation through this position and began printing for a select group of artists and galleries.
Baril’s own work was inspired by the lush quality of Mapplethorpes’s pictures. He began creating his own photographic portfolio while still working as a printer. In an attempt to distance his style from Mapplethorpe’s, his eye looked to architecture and urban landscape. However, his oeuvre to date is composed of a wide range of subject matter including still lifes of plants and fruits. The pictures have a velvety blackness to them as well as a vintage-like quality. Each photograph is a testament to how beautiful and rich a print can be.
Baril's photographs are in numerous important public and private collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Stedelijk Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Fogg Museum, and The Center For Creative Photography in Tucson.