Tony Fitzpatrick, ‘Autumn Warblers’, 2016, Hexton Gallery

“When I was about five years old I asked my grandmother, ‘Why are you giving all of our bread to the birds?’ Then she opened the window and I heard it for the first time. She smiled and said, ‘For the price of a piece of bread, you can hear God sing.’ I never forgot that, and I started drawing birds. They were the first thing I ever drew, birds and then naked women. Then, when I was older, I started making combinations of them and the nuns made my mom take me to the shrink.”
– Tony Fitzpatrick

Image rights: © Tony Fitzpatrick

About Tony Fitzpatrick

Chicago-based artist Tony Fitzpatrick has a unique repertoire of influences acquired through various occupations, all of which inform his broad scope of imagery. A self-taught artist, Fitzpatrick is a former prizefighter, poet, radio talk-show host, and movie actor, who later discovered his talent for intricate detail and imagery in both small- and large-scale drawings. In his early artistic career, Fitzpatrick made multi-colored drawings on slate and began to focus on printmaking, followed by a move to mixed-media drawings, paintings, and collages, which mix of found imagery, drawings, text, and daily ephemera. Among many influences, Fitzpatrick is primarily inspired by the street culture in his native Chicago. Other influences include children’s books, childhood encounters with Catholicism, superheroes, circus posters, field guides, politics, folk art, and tattoo designs (the latter which often appear in his precise etchings.)

American, b. 1958, Chicago, Illinois, based in Chicago, Illinois