Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tony Fitzpatrick

I've been spending a lot of time looking at the collages of Tony Fitzpatrick. I admire his work so much that I've added his site to my list of favorite artists. Most of his work is small for all of its wealth of detail: 6x9 inches or 10x13 inches usually. All feature his characteristic pasted up patterned borders, somewhat reminiscent of the style of Felipe Jesus Consalvos. There is frequently a dominant symbol in the center: sometimes as a flat single colored silhouette, other times an object stylistically decorated. In some pieces, a message spelled out in letters cut from different colored ephemera is the main focus. The work frequently includes poetic handwritten words arranged vertically and flush with the left and right borders. The backgrounds are always a flat color upon which a myriad of small objects are arranged. There is usually some reoccurring pattern like a dotted line, a string of beads or the suggestion of a constellation of stars that provides visual unity. A background consisting of a ruled grid can be seen in most of Fitzpatrick's later pieces. All of his work makes use of bright color contrast, interesting vintage found imagery (sheet music, matchbook covers, advertising and the like) in combination with painted elements that invite closer scrutiny.

Here's a link to a 2005 interview with Tony Fitzpatrick at Reader's Voice (he likes James Ellroy). I've just ordered a book of Fitzpatrick's art called The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City -- The Dream City and I can't wait to see it!

2 comments:

Beverly Kaye Gallery said...

Thank you so much for posting these amazing and intricate collages by Tony Fitzpatrick. I really love them, but was unable to find a mention of pricing anywhere. They are little jewels and so filled with information.

AnitaNH said...

He's doing prints also but his ephemera-laden collages have a character that is hard to achieve in a print. Here's a good source for more info: http://www.hardpresseditions.com/fitzpatrick/biofitzpatrick.html
The article says "he makes frequent forays to mount exhibitions all over the country" so maybe you can invite him to show at your gallery. Chicago is not that far away!