Tony’s powerful and highly individualistic oil paintings, rich in color, reflect the influence of the Native American and Hispanic cultures of the Southwest and of his own Navajo and Anglo heritage. His electric landscapes are dotted with adobes, surrounded by thunderous skies and powerful mountains. His paintings illustrate Native American ceremonial themes, introduce solemn katchinas, integrate Native American symbolism, and reveal abstract representations of Navajo deities.
Tony grew up in Gallup, New Mexico, where Route 66, with its many art galleries and trading posts, is the main street through town. Gallup, known as a major turquoise trading center, is in the four corners area of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah - in the center of Indian Country. The Navajo Reservation and the Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna pueblos as well as numerous Anasazi archaeological sites, such as Chaco Canyon and Aztec Ruins are nearby.
At the age of 16, Tony began studies at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe. Following that, he earned a BFA fromThe Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, and later attended the Lacoste School of Art in southern France, and SACI in Florence Italy. He also studied at the Chicago Art Institute, the Haystack School in Bangor, Maine, and did graduate studies at NYU.
Tony produces both oil paintings and
large scale drawings. He also likes to explore different mediums such as monotype,
charcoal drawings, sand paintings, and printmaking. He creates abstract mixed
media pieces, integrating the use of encaustic wax and copper.
Tony likes to diversify his evolving work and said, “ There are certainly many directions I take as a painter.” He elaborated that he is concurrently working on a number of projects, including: large neo-modernist landscapes, black and white abstract bio-mechanical pieces, charcoal and ink wash drawings, and colorful diety paintings "with abrupt textures and paint" as well as scupture. He said his new sculpture series are comprised of large 3-dimensional pieces.
Tony’s work has been exhibited at: the Heard Museum of Art in Phoenix; Blue Rain Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Turquoise Tortoise Galleries in Sedona, Arizona, Chicago and Santa Fe; and at the Armory for the Arts, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Cline Fine Art Gallery, Santa Fe; the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, Santa Fe; the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe; the Millicent Rogers Musuem, Taos; the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC., and other galleries.
Tony currently has studios in both
Santa Fe and in Chicago, where he lives with his son Gabriel. He noted that,
"Living in an urban place adds an element of progressive cultural experience.
In a city there is the whole discourse of cultures, thinking, music and international
art. I consider myself a regionalist,
accepting that much of what I do is tied to a native culture and place. I find that art is constantly moving, reinventing and affected by the changes in our culture, and it’s great to feel part of that in some way."
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