Tony Fitzpatrick, ‘Gramercy Park Bird’, 2008, Hexton Gallery

“Gramercy Park is a beautiful, private park in New York right next to the Gramercy Park Hotel. You need a key to get into Gramercy Park – normally the idea of this would piss me off, but in this case it just seems kind of right. It is an intimate little park with a Statue of Edwin Booth in it – a great actor of Shakespeare and the brother of President Lincoln’s assassin.

“Gramercy Park seems to be a place that holds secrets – a place that seems truly private, in an elegant sort of way. The adjoining Gramercy Park Hotel was one of the places Babe Ruth regularly got hammered at. The great humorist, S.J. Perelman, lived there. Humphrey Bogart used to stay there, as well.

“The next time I go to New York I’m going to stay there because, if you are a guest in the hotel, you can get a key to enter Gramercy Park which, by all accounts, is one of those great places to be alone with one’s thoughts.

“A good place to read poems.”

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