Tony Viramontes: Bold, Beautiful and Damned
Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan
6 September to 3 November 2013
Corso Como 10 – 20154 Milan
+39 02.653531

"I look for new ideas because I like to be in a state of creative anxiety and insecurity. If I feel sure of myself I cannot be creative, I try to renew myself."
- Tony Viramontes

When Tony Viramontes made his debut in fashion illustration in the late 1970's he scored an immediate success, rapidly acquiring the kind of prestigious editorial commissions often allocated to photographers. From Lei, Per Lui in Italy, Vogue in the USA, the Face in Britain, as well as Jill Magazine, Marie Claire, Le Monde and City Magazine in France his client list exploded.

His strong and direct style was in marked contrast to the whispered visuals of the 70’s. By the time of his death in 1988 he had been offered creative control of Goldie and worked with some of the most celebrated names in fashion. Valentino loved him, as did Gaultier and Hanae Mori. He had drawn for Givenchy, Miyake, Yves Sant Laurant, Pierre Cardin, Ungaro and the House of Dior. Portraits of Isabella Rossellini, Paloma Picasso and Janet Jackson were in his portfolio.

Tony never worked from photographs. His models were hand picked and would pose for hours engaged in his creative process. Like Egon Schiele, one of his inspirations when studying art in his youth in NYC, Viramontes had an astounding grasp of anatomy. He did not distort because he could not draw, as many so-called artists attempt to do. He used his acute observation of reality to be the springboard for his work. It was observed, “He did not dream with his pencil”.