Acrylic on canvas
Tony Conrad’s recent paintings take inspiration from the meticulous patterning characteristic of traditional Persian rugs and fabrics. In their symmetry, arabesque embellishments, and vibrant colors, his paintings epitomize the delicate beauty of these woven textiles. Collaged into the composition, however, are images of bullets—metallic cartridges and round case heads scanned from photographs and printed on thin paper. Conrad juxtaposes gender and cultural stereotypes in complex opposition. The iconic symbols of masculinity he remembers from growing up in rural Wisconsin—trophy stags, hunter silhouettes, and ammunition—are combined with densely layered designs of Persian femininity and domesticity. In placing them in conflict with each other, he also synthesizes them in an ironic harmony with political and sexual implications.
Tony Conrad received his MFA degree in painting and drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2009. Currently, Conrad is a Lecturer of Art at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin where he now lives. Conrad’s work has been exhibited in various solo, group, and invitational exhibitions and has won a number of awards including the Lawrence Rathsack Scholarship and the Frederick R. Layton Fellowship. Recently, his paintings have been exhibited at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, as well as the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
All images copyright of the artist and used with permission.