Formerly a tattoo artist and semi-professional boxer, self-instructed Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick is considered a renegade in the contemporary art scene. His imagery is inspired by street life in Chicago, childhood encounters with Catholic icons, superheroes, industrialization and contemporary politics. Fitzpatrick’s early artistic career focused primarily on printmaking, in more recent years he turned to large scale mixed media drawings, paintings and collages. This new body of etchings reflect his return to printmaking and his skill in creating small etchings with the precision of a needle on skin, revealing his personal vocabulary of enigmatic symbols. Fitzpatrick’s work can be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, and many other public collections.
Medium: Etching, aquatint Dimensions: 3 x 2 inches (image) Signature: Signed Artist details: American, 1958 Date finished: 1997 Edition: 15/40
Recommended by Paige (Collections Manager):
I find 'Elston Ave.' so interesting because it's a compression of a place into one image. To describe the experience of an entire city street is impossible, but here we see a version of Elston Avenue through the artist's eyes. His priorities, emphasis, symbols, and layers are borderline nonsensical, but full of texture and oddities that speak to his personal interpretation. I would love to take a walk down the avenue of Fitzpatrick's drawings."
Medium: Color etching Dimensions: 5 x 7 inches (image) Signature: Signed Artist details: American, 1958 Date finished: 2011 Edition: 5/45
Recommended by Paige(Collections Manager): I am often drawn to a strong title, and the title “Man with a Gun” brings out the best in the piece. The image is loaded before we even begin to interpret Fitzpatrick’s puzzling iconography. There is a peculiar chaos and anxiety that we experience as interpreters of the work, trying to analyze the familiar yet incomplete symbols.