Anthony White is an artist and curator in Seattle, Washington, where he is currently represented by Greg Kucera Gallery. He is a recent alumnus of Cornish College of the Arts, the first in his family to complete four years of professional training. White’s work consists of intricate portraits, still lifes, and objects meticulously spun from common PLA plastic. His work disrupts hierarchies of status and wealth by placing trivial souvenirs and low-brow accoutrements in luxurious environments.
White has recently received the 2019 Special Recognition Award from the Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Award committee, and was the 2018 recipient of the second place AXA XL Catlin Art Prize juried by prominent international museum curators, at the New York Academy of Art, in New York. He was the COSA 2019 Award recipient, and recently presented a Solo Presentation booth at EXPO Chicago 2019. White completed his Spring ‘19 PLOP residency in London, UK, where he returned for a solo exhibition, “Black Friday” at Public Gallery in December 2019. All of which are in conjunction with a museum curatorial project that will launch in June of 2020. During the 2019 Seattle Art Fair, the Frye Art Museum acquired work by Anthony White, as did the Crocker Art Museum at EXPO Chicago 2019 to add to their permanent collections.
Anthony White was born in 1994 in Santa Maria, a small town outside of Santa Barbara, California. He attended middle and high school, in Prescott Valley, AZ. Both places played different roles in his subcultural exposure and identity development. However, in Arizona, the young White found an undertone of disapproval towards anything that wasn’t right-wing and stereotypically normal. Prevailing societal roles and the predictable confines of gender and sexual identity politics fought against his confidence in presenting his true identity and expressing his genuine interests.
His working-middle class parents, Tyra, (an elementary school teacher) and Gilbert, (a lowrider car mechanic) were supportive and encouraged his farfetched and wild dreams—-even gifting him a tattoo machine on his 15th birthday. His younger brother and sister, have been supportive as well. White grew up around his grandmother, who was a craft artist building benches and chairs with a vast collection of low-craft accoutrements, which he believes was the initial influence toward his interest in pursuing an education at Cornish College of the Arts. He is the first in his family to complete four years of school and professional training.
His intricate collage-like ‘paintings’ are created from threads of colored PLA plastic–often found in throwaway consumer goods and luxury products alike–which are heated, melted and used to fill in his erratic still life compositions. Each creation is crammed with references to pop culture and the hallmarks of everyday life, no matter the socioeconomic class. Household items are scattered around Versace and Balenciaga pieces. Diamonds and bundles of cash sit alongside power tools and hot sauce. What underpins his work, though, is the use of cultural symbols that are somehow recognizable to us all.
In a recent Creative Review interview, he explained, “The work is both very time and labour intensive. I often forget the exact hours I spend on each piece after they exceed 100, but I enjoy the process, and I do think it is important to slow down, and really highlight and explain each part within each work through the time I spend on it. Each piece has a basic contour drawing done first, for technical reasons, but a lot of the line direction and color and figurative elements are intuitive–they have to be.”
See his most recent works at Art Dallas 2020 in the Greg Kucera Gallery Booth, April 16-19, 2020, at Dallas Market Hall in the Dallas Market Center.