Color Expressionism

 selected works by Tony Devoney

Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your abstract work.
Tony Devoney: I consider myself a color expressionist, and I like to divide my work into different series. I have three right now: Angels In My Mind, Foggy Days and Pieces of Me. In terms of my artistic style, I like to use a lot of color and layer a lot. The colors I chose, the designs and the flow all stem from emotion and what I'm going through in life. Ever since I was a kid, I never liked to paint or color in the lines. I found myself a lot of times wanting to rebel and just do me. That's something I feel like I've stuck by throughout life–as an individual and in my art. It also was a big reason of why I grew to be so attracted to abstract–because there's free range to express yourself and not one particular idea or vision you have to stick to.

Check out the making of his series Pieces of Me:

AM: What's your biggest inspiration?
TD: An artist I came across named Brittany Lee and a lot of Picasso's work influence my work. Also, the things I've been through in my life just motivate me to express myself through art.

AM: What themes do you typically pursue in your work?
TD: My pieces are definitely very bright, and I try to put out positive work that just makes people feel good. I've been through a lot of negative experiences, so I really just want to inspire people and make them smile. I think that since I often felt hurt and dark, I wanted to make the world around me bright. Each piece in all of my series stemmed from some form of darkness, but I like to take that darkness and create something colorful. My passion is to bring that positivity through my art.

AM: We saw you just finished a mural in Echo Park. What was the concept behind that?
TD: I'm starting a street art campaign called Find The Beauty, which stemmed from my Foggy Days series. In my Foggy Days series, I experimented with simply putting paint to the canvas, adding water and letting gravity take its course. The mural is a large scale version of that, where it looks like the paint is dripping and raining down on whoever is standing in front of it. But instead of dreary, it's bright and colorful.
       Growing up, I went through a lot with my family, and at the time, I could never find the beauty in the bad things that would happen. In the end, I learned a lot from my experiences, and I was able to see the positive outcome of it. So, I want to remind everyone to find the beauty in bad situations.

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AM: So what does the campaign entail?
TD: I want to have a series of murals in different locations all over Los Angeles to spread the message.

AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
TD: I'm really inspired by the homeless population here. I'm from New Orleans, and when I moved here, I was surprised by the amount of people living on the streets. I want my art to impact the community and society, and I want to address social issues. I have a plan to spend a week on the streets and paint every day to make money and then give that money back to the homeless. I think it's important to see what it's like to live like that, and I want to incorporate my art and brighten up the streets.

AM: What music is currently inspiring you?
TD: It depends on my mood, but I usually listen to classical or upbeat pop music while I paint, and it's always reflected in the flow of my work.

AM: What can we expect to see from you next?
TD: More expansion on the Find The Beauty campaign. I also just started another campaign titled Eyes Of An Artist. Awhile back, I went to Yosemite and started a painting, but I never finished it. So, I had an idea to send this unfinished painting to different artists all around the world and give them no direction at all, but have each artist add a piece to it and pass it along. I've already had two artists do it, and it's amazing that what they added was so on point with what I was feeling the night I started the painting.

Tony Devoney is an LA-based abstract artist from New Orleans."I take from what others may see as small and minute, possibly even unnoticeable and translate it through my eyes into free flowing beauty." You can find more of his work at t4art.com.

Posted on June 9, 2016 .