Tony LaPorte’s Untitled 48 is watercolor, oil pastel, marker on paper.
About the Artist: Tony LaPorte
Upon joining the artists of the Center for the Arts several years ago, Tony LaPorte quickly displayed a great deal of natural talent. Immediately showing a great enthusiasm for the physical process of creation, Tony quickly developed a variety of skills and techniques which he continues to utilize to good effect.
Though he employs many media, including markers, oil pastels, colored pencils, paint markers and watercolor, his favorite seems to be acrylic paint. Acrylics allow for a thick application, and Tony not only enjoys the actual process of spreading the paint in thick layers over a support, but also prizes the rich textures that such an application results in. Tony has developed several techniques for the application of paint. He often begins by using a brush and then moves on to various improvised stamps, dipping such things as wooden blocks and the round ends of house paint rollers into the paint and creating repeated patterns with them on the painted surface.
Thus far two favorite motifs have emerged. One is a simplified smiling face that is often arranged in rows and superimposed one atop the other, creating great crowds of happy people. Observing Tony’s own happy disposition, and his attraction to harmony, it is easy to view these images as extensions of his own thoughts and desires. The other involves the layering of broad fields of pure, vibrant colors, lavishly applied with an emphasis on the brushstrokes and other textures created by the paint. Visual tension is produced by the way that these color fields interact with each other, arranged as they are across the picture plane and one on top of the other. Tony often combines the two motifs, sometimes simplifying his faces to the point of eliminating all features, and working the resultant circles into the already complex fields of layered colors. The balance created by Tony’s choice of colors and placement of forms speak of a sophistication that belies his experience.