While Tony Toscani is a Brooklyn-based painter the form of isolation and dissociative malaise his paintings depict will be common to all. Toscani is a painter of our contemporary affliction: the disconnection wrought by the age of hyperconnectivity. Most generally his paintings depict a single, solitary determine in the most paired down settings: a slab to point out a desk, a blue sq. to simulate a window. At times yet another figure appears but never ever do two pairs of eyes certainly satisfy, by no means does anything that resembles relationship resolve concerning the figures. Toscani draws out the psychological existence of his topics to develop a mood so pervasive it turns into a form of ambiance you could lower with a knife.
The blank faces of his figures phone to brain the vacuous expressions of Modigiliani’s subjects and in his treatment method of the physique, in which limbs are geometricized to long tubular volumes, Toscani recollects Bauhaus learn Oskar Schlemmer’s paintings (i.e. ‘Bauhaus Stairway’, 1932)—or even his renowned Triadic Ballet—in which bodies are rendered as a sequence of modular geometric parts. A different 20th century figure looms significant right here: Picasso, specifically the paintings of his classical period.” Consider ‘The Pipes of Pan’ (1923), for instance. Toscani shares in the palette—brilliant blues and sandy hues—and rotund modeling and robustness of the bodies of lots of of Picasso’s paintings of the time period. See also the reminiscently stark setting: sharp planes towards swaths of sky.
Art historical resonances aside, Toscani’s subject matter issue is totally contemporary—even futuristic. In a new job interview with Juxtapoz magazine the artist remarked: “Our recent condition of melancholy and apathy is my largest affect.” Of the shrunken heads in his paintings, he explained that this official conceit brought on by the outcomes of the pandemic. “People commenced using their awareness a ton a lot less and their bodies a good deal more simply because they still had to go on performing ordinary things in their day-to-day existence, like going to the bathroom, having, functioning, and sleeping. So, to me, it can be sort of like human evolution in 2000 several years, what we would all stop up searching like,” he claims.
Toscani’s figures sit hefty in these paintings, achingly earth-bound as if sentenced to stay listed here in long-term isolation and angst. He is notably adept at conveying weight—psychic, psychological and bodily pounds. In ‘The Monument’ (2022), two figures regard one particular of their very own: a female whose proportions have grown to this kind of an severe that her corpulence melds with the landmass guiding her. Upending the custom of monuments—sculptural objects that commemorate heroic acts—here the figure props her head up with her hand lazily, sleepily. Toscani has erected a monument in praise of boredom, a consecration of the every day. —Danny Kopel