Tony Natsoulas: Art Heroes & Music Heroes, 2010-2021
My recent work consists of larger-than-life ceramic busts; satirically depicting the general nature and eccentricities of my subjects. Humor plays an integral part in the physiological make-up of each character. I use a lot of texture also to bring more energy to each figure. The use of bold, vivid color and the exaggerated gestures also add a dimension in creating the personality and mood of the busts/characters.
Series 1: Art Heroes
This series was a result of wanting to not stay stagnate in my techniques and look of each piece. I chose artists that had an impact in my childhood and later influenced my art making. I examined each artist’s work and tried to incorporated their ideas in the portraits I made of each of them. I made a total of 9 artists. Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Robert Arneson, Basil Wolverton, Pablo Picasso, Keith Haring, Rube Goldberg, Alexander Calder and Clayton Bailey.
Series 2: Music Heroes
I have always wanted to be a musician, playing saxophone in high school and later on bass guitar. This series is to honor the musician that give back to society. I made portraits of the Beatles, Maceo Parker, Annie Lennox, Carlos Santana, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. All of them have made breakthroughs in music and activism.
- A Thousand Beautiful Things (Portrait of Annie Lennox), 2021, Ceramic, wood, found metal legs and neon by Tesla neon, 73 x 53 x 23 in.
- Producer of Preposterous Pictures of Peculiar People Who Prowl This Perplexing Planet(Portrait of Basil Wolverton), 2015, Ceramic and Wire, 68 x 26 x 24 in.
Permanent collection of Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti, Shrem Museum of Art
- Big Daddy ll (Portrait of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth), 2010, Ceramic, glass, and wire
60 x 27 x 24 in. Car by Jeffery Beckerleg Permanent collection of Big Daddy Museum, Manti, UT
- Bob (Portrait of Robert Arneson), 2011, Ceramic and metal base, 96 x 22 x 28 in. Private Collection, Sacramento, CA
- Calder (Portrait of Alexander Calder), 2021, Ceramic and Metal. Mobile made by Joe Scarpa, 68 x 36 x 28 in.
- This ain’t no red haring (Portrait of Keith Haring), 2021, Ceramic, 93 x 24 x 24 in.
- Dr. Gladstone has left the Planet (Portrait of Clayton Bailey), 2021, ceramic, glass marbles, wire, LED lights, 41 x 28 x 28 in. Permanent collection: Monterey Museum of Art
- Crumb (Portrait of Robert Crumb), 2013, Ceramic, 48 x 36 x 24 in.
- How to get whipped cream on a pie (Portrait of Rube Goldberg), 2021, Ceramic, wood, found metal table and found pipe, 83 x 53 x 48 in.
- Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air (Portrait of Sister Rosetta Tharpe), 2021, Ceramic, Steel, and Wood, 72 x 36 x 36 in.
- The Fab Four, 2001, Ceramic, Each figure: 39 x 26 x 16 in.
- Exhibition view, Out of Our Minds: Clayton Bailey & Tony Natsoulas at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, 2022
Inspirational. Some of the works appear to have not been fired…if so, can they be called ceramic?