Paranoia, 2012. Acrylic and collage on panel. 40 x 32 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Frank Juarez Gallery, Sheboygan.

Appleton, WI

Overview

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.

Biography

Tony Conrad

Tony Conrad received his MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2009. He currently teaches at Lawrence University in Appleton. While focusing on his rural upbringing, Conrad’s most current work explores visual components of social stereotypes and oddities from popular culture. Conrad’s work has been exhibited in various solo, group, and invitational exhibitions and he 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 Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, EFFJAY PROJEKTS Gallery in Sheboygan, and the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend. In 2012, his work was exhibited at the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (Guangzhou, China).