For some time now, Tony has been exploring the visual possibilities of altered books. Choosing from vintage encyclopedias and dictionaries, discarded text books, old atlases and graphic novels he carefully cuts through one page at a time to reveal existing images in a three dimensional collage. The results allow the contents and imagery of long outdated material to be viewed in a manner that is both exciting and thought provoking.
Tony is currently represented exclusively by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans.
My lifetime experiences as a composer and performer directly inform my work as a visual artist. Music, for me, has always had a visual component, with the diverse elements of music suggesting colors, shapes and textures. Conversely, the juxtaposition of abstract shapes which come together as I work on a book, is very much how I perceive the interplay of melody, harmony and rhythm.
When I first began my work with books, I employed a pure “excavation” process. That is, after sealing the edges, I cut page by page through each book retaining the images that appealed to me and discarding everything else. However, I soon became dissatisfied with this approach and began reserving certain content for later use, positioning each piece when and where I wanted it.
My current body of work represents several new directions for me in terms of design, textures and overall technique. I have also been experimenting with organic, abstract openings for book covers and the inclusion of “found poetry”.
It is important to note that every piece that I have done, regardless of size or style, employs visual elements and text from only one book at a time. Using material from a single source, including eclectic photos and illustrations created and printed in a similar manner, is an obvious organizing factor. Ultimately, by altering and reorganizing content that is often long out of date, I hope to provide a perspective on the transitory nature of what earlier generations understood to be factual, and offer insight into the way ever evolving media has shaped contemporary perspectives.