"BODY LANGUAGE "
In this his latest series of work, Tony selected intimate and challenging body positions to explore and celebrate the variety of emotions generated by their complex permutations. His choice of unusual flesh tones are combined with strength of line and emphasis of volume. With his contemporary approach to life painting and drawing, Tony’s semi abstract compositions express not only his feelings about his models, but also his interpretation of the model’s body language.
Depicting the naked human body in painting has been an age old subject of artists, but, in Tony’s view, has been perceived by the public with ambivalence. For instance, in the Middle Ages, the only opportunity to see them was in churches and other religious painting. Later it was the subject for many famous artists but mainly seen in art galleries, apparently being considered unsuitable for private houses. Tony is concerned that this attitude still persists and feels it is strange given that in the 21st century the naked body is increasingly omnipresent in advertising, television, films and magazines. Irritated by the apparent reaction of embarrassment to seeing a painted nude in a private house, he can only surmise that this anomaly persists either due to selective hypocrisy or fear of being thought to have salacious motivation. Tony’s work challenges this attitude, communicating his uninhibited enjoyment of the human form through his bold and expressive paintings and drawings.
All through Tony’s work-making process, the looking, feeling and decision making take far longer than the execution. Monet commented that there was nothing spontaneous about his work. The difference for Tony is that the final mark- makings have to be decisive in order to achieve the vitality essential to his work. He paints directly with live models whose slight movements provide subtle changes in line and shape which are not available from photographs. The models contribute to the selection of the poses. Their interest in the paintings as they develop provides an inter-active process contributing to the vivacity of the work.
Tony uses high quality acrylic with a limited palette with strong colours in unusual combinations. Taking paint straight from the pot, avoiding the dulling effect of mixing with water, he paints on stretched canvas. His strong, positive gestural marks produce depth and ambiguity. Fluid brush strokes combined with patience and determination, gently evoke the arousing essence of the female nude. Approaching the form with sensitivity has created a beautifully alluring and provocative collection of paintings.