Tony Fitzpatrick is a passionate storyteller conveying his tales across multiple media: as a playwright, a stage and film performer, a radio personality, and as a visual artist through his iconic drawing collages and etchings. Pierogi
presents an exhibition of his recent collages in his fifth solo exhibition with the gallery.
Tony crafts each of these relatively small works to hold a world of information: his unique and poetic take on a local legend, a historical figure, a bird, or insect of fascination to him, often overlooked or marginalized subjects. Be it the Trail of Tears and the stories of American Indian tribes and his hero Crazy Horse, his fascination with the cities of Chicago and New Orleans and the state of Ohio, to baseball and, lets say, the more colorful side of life.
The title of this exhibition, The Other Kind, developed out of Tonys interest in biker clubs which embody a notion of the free spirit and the nonconformist backbone of independence. Central to all the motorcycle clubs
is the idea of the motorcycle as an instrument of freedom. It is the binding object and metaphorfast, dangerous, and eternal. Like I said. . . its why cowboys got off horses. (Fitzpatrick, 2013)
The motorcycle clubs channel the pure rebellious side of human nature. The Black Knights, Yellow Jackets, Stoned Riders, and Black Widows are only a few of the clubs represented in the drawings included in this exhibition. This is one of two groups of drawing collages that will be on view at PIerogi. At the opposite end of the spectrum, and demonstrating Tonys widely varied interests, the other group of drawings on view is devoted to another, more delicate love of his; moths.
I tend to return to moths from time to time as a subject, particularly when describing a place. They are so much part of my childhoodthe big, beautiful buckeye moths that used to scare me as a kid, . .the tiny, white powdery ghost moths that seemed so ephemeral and fleeting. In the autumn, Id find them dead on the widow sill from the seasons first freeze and I would be reminded that every still thing is the mirror of another, and also of the Unamuno quote that states, We die of cold and not of darkness. (Fitzpatrick, 2013)
Tony Fitzpatricks work has been featured in numerous exhibitions including Prospect New Orleans, PS1, and Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection at The Museum of Modern Art (NYC). A solo exhibition of the artists work was held at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and his work is currently included in the exhibition The Artist and the Poet on view at The Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been published in numerous volumes and is included in the permanent collections of MoMA (NYC), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), The National Museum of American Art (Wash., DC), among others. Tony currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.