T O N Y   O S I O

Mission Statement: Evolutions

Art, particularly painting, has been a lifelong preoccupation. It provides an outlet for expression, a means of dealing with the constantly crisis-ridden world around me, a protective guardian for my world view, serving to keep me relatively grounded. Thus, I embrace what it affords me and have allowed it to become my trusted alter ego. In short, I define myself as an artist.

Though this definition has coalesced more recently, I realize I have truly been an artist since childhood. As a child, my random wanderings through the Los Angeles County Museum of Art were so deeply satisfying that they led, as I grew older, to the visiting of innumerable museums and galleries both at home and when traveling. The natural progression was to earn a degree in Art History, a field of study reinforcing my tremendous debt of gratitude to the vast body of artists and movements from centuries past to the present.

Despite this debt, as a painter I attempt to remain fiercely independent of the “isms” of the recent past, engaging instead in consistent reinvention and reemergence in an ongoing quest to achieve my own style of expression, one incorporating both figuration and abstraction. My goal is to make evident the pleasure and zest I take from the sensual nature of my materials. Recurring themes and images of the subconscious, revealed at times as a dark angst, derive both from a universal fear of loss of control, and paradoxically, from a mischievous playfulness and humor. I strive to create paintings that are highly visceral and vibrantly expressionistic, filled with tension and innuendo.

This striving continues in my most recent body of work—the landscapes. This series of landscapes, culled from my own photos, was inspired by two completely different environments separated by thousands of miles and located in two continents. The Tuscan works (the majority of which were exhibited by special invitation at the Villa Borghetto in San Gimignano) evolved from time spent in the shadow of San Gimignano, a UNESCO protected medieval town surrounded by rolling hills dotted with lush vineyards and romantic villas. The other series of paintings has as its subject the La Ballona Wetlands, the last coastal wetland in Southern California. Both sites, as diametrically opposed as possible, have captured my imagination, and have been constantly compelling forces asking to be interpreted and examined in their various nuances.

I have no doubt that my involvement with landscape will be long term. Currently, however, I have been engaged in a series which I call memory paintings. Knowing how one’s reality is informed by an ever-shifting series of memories, how tricky the mind and memory can be both factually and tonally, I envision my newest paintings as mosaics of abstract reality—less representational than some of my earlier work, more kinetic, visceral, intuitive. In a word, they refract a kaleidoscope of enigmatic and fragmented realities, creating, in essence, a world of fractured prisms.

Tony Osio

© 2007-2013 Tony Osio. All rights reserved.