No. 9, An Artist’s Journey, is a refreshing blog site of Tony Fitzpatrick’s body of works. He delivers detailed stories regarding what inspired him to create each piece. Fitzpatrick has a unique style of embedding phrases into his collages, which unfold amusing stories that are significant to his development as an artist. Fitzpatrick’s page is enthralling with descriptions every bit as pungent as the details in his collage pieces. Much like a narrative, he can set a scene using images and create a mood for the piece using words.
Fitzpatrick’s art is autobiographical; his works are more than quirky, cartoon-like images, but explore the darker side of American life. More specifically, life in Chicago rendered with a tattoo-parlor frankness and Catholic drama and pathos. His vast range of subjects includes Chicago, baseball and memoirs of his father, New Orleans, street people, super heroes, Crazy Horse and Japan.
Fitzpatrick is a unique asset to the pop art movement, a self-taught artist who combines collage techniques with intaglio prints. As a former tattoo artist, Fitzpatrick’s line work is deliberate yet delicate. The prints are merely one component of Fitzpatrick’s mixed media “drawing/collages” which often blend his cartoon-like images with found object art. Playful and sentimental objects like baseball memorabilia and playing cards are paired with poetry written by the artist.
Fitzpatrick typically uses a stimulating color palette that may include red, yellow, blue and green on a black back ground, colors that are captivating but only displayed on notebook-sized paper. The end visual is a stunning arrangement of symbolic images.
Fitzpatrick’s connection to the city of Chicago resonates in his works. For the residents of this grand city, many of his pieces stir fond memories of extraordinary passages in time. Fitzpatrick’s technical skills, wide use of materials and the experimentation of the presentation of his work inspire me. Fitzpatrick created visual poems in which color, collage, and text play together to tell a story. In this way, he conveys his memories like a highly decorative page of his journal.