TONY DAGRADI

Diffusion

new collages

July 18 – August 30, 2019

TONY DAGRADI

Boring Machines, 2017

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

9.50h x 10w x 8.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Boring Machines (side 2), 2017
hardcover book, acrylic varnish

9.50h x 10w x 8.50d in

 

TONY DAGRADI

Boring Machines (side 3), 2017
hardcover book, acrylic varnish

9.50h x 10w x 8.50d in

 

TONY DAGRADI

Timeline D, 2018

A Picturesque Tale of Progress 1949, volumes 1-9 (complete set)

26.50h x 18.25w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Skyline D, 2018

New Masters Pictorial Encyclopedia 1957 volumes 1-8 (complete set)

19.50h x 19.50w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Wonderland D (1956), 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

21.50h x 21.50w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Diffusion, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish; New Masters Pictorial Encyclopedia 1962 volumes 1-8 (complete set)

18h x 24w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

New Century Dictionary a-pocket veto, 2017

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

11.75h x 13w x 6.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

New Century Dictionary pockmark - zymurgy, 2017

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

11.75h x 13w x 6.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Encyclopedia of Philately, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10h x 12w x 6d in

TONY DAGRADI

Birds of America, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

11.25h x 8w x 2d in

TONY DAGRADI

Camels & Cowboys, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.75h x 12w x 5.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Houdini's Dilemma, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.75h x 12w x 5.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Strange Shapes Revealed, 2017

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10h x 8.50w x 6.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

The Birds (1936), 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

11h x 15w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Batman, 2018

Greatest Batman Stories 1938-83 (excerpts)

11.75h x 16.50w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Black Panther, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

13.50h x 9.50w x 1.25d in

TONY DAGRADI

Iron Man, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

13h x 9.50w x 1.25d in

TONY DAGRADI

Tales from the East, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

18.50h x 14.25w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Evidence, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

13h x 9.25w x 1.25d in

TONY DAGRADI

The Dark Knight, Vol. 8, 2019

wood, printed matter on paper, reclaimed books

10.50h x 7w in

TONY DAGRADI

Superman...!, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Heads Up - Ultimate Spiderman, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

11.50h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Watchmen, 2016

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w in

TONY DAGRADI

Ascension - Watchmen, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

What Do You Mean He's Gone - Watchmen, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Veneration, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Excavation, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Consecration, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Calibration, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Exploration, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Jubilation, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Realization, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Escalation, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Speculation, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.50h x 7w x 2.50d in

TONY DAGRADI

Butterflies and Balloons #005, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.25h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Flying Kangaroos #006, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.25h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Tea Ceremony #007, 2019

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.25h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

View of Mount Fuji, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.25h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Number Please..., 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.25h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

The Pedicure, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

10.25h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

The Embalmer's Helper, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

11.50h x 7.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Lost Worlds, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

12.25h x 9.25w x 1.25d in

TONY DAGRADI

Encyclopedia of Toys, 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

12h x 9w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Assyeria (1901), 2018

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

6h x 4.50w x 1d in

TONY DAGRADI

Lincoln, 2016

hardcover book, acrylic varnish

9.50h x 6.50w x 1.25d in

Press Release

18 July 2019 (New Orleans, LA)  JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY proudly presents the second solo exhibition of New Orleans based artist, Tony Dagradi. Entitled Diffusion, the exhibition unveils forty-four new, hand cut book sculptures. The new work offers a wide array of imagery in both the subject matter of the books and the stylistic process of the cutting. We see Dagradi’s characteristic work within the context of the original bookcovers (e.g. in “Imperial Series), as well as, a new visual language in grids and three-dimensional sculpture (e.g in the Diffusion series). The exhibition will be on view from 18 July through 30 August 2019 with an opening reception coinciding with the Arts District of New Orleans’ (ADNO) First Saturday Gallery Openings on Saturday 3 August from 5-10 pm in conjunction with Hancock Whitney White Linen Night, an artful block party which attracts upwards of 50,000 patrons to Julia Street.

 

The gallery will also host a closing reception on the evening of Thursday 29 August from 6-8pm. Astral Project, Dagradi’s award-winning and world renown jazz ensemble which he has served as saxophonist for over 30 years with, will perform within the exhibition space.

 

The artist says of his continuing artistic practice . . .

 

My decades long career in contemporary jazz directly informs my work as a visual artist.  Music, for me, has always had a visual component, with the diverse elements of music suggesting colors, shapes and textures.  The juxtaposition of abstract shapes which come together as I work on a book, is very much how I perceive the interplay of melody, harmony and rhythm.  I also feel very strongly that the mathematics and spirituality of music intersect all art forms.

 

My process in creating sculptural effects with books is continually evolving.  When I first began, I sealed the edges of each book and cut through one page at a time, making choices on the fly as to what images I chose to keep.  As my technical skills progressed and I gained more confidence and experience, I found this to be a somewhat limiting approach; I wanted more flexibility.  In my current preferred method, I harvest the images I am most interested in, then add them back one at a time as the composition emerges.  I still cut away one page at a time, and always work from front to back.  In this way I have greater control over placement of each object as well as the direction of the entire composition.

 

I enjoy working with many types of books; graphic novels, atlases, scientific texts, technical manuals, etc.  Each represents a different and unique challenge.  I especially relish working with vintage books and encyclopedias.  The eclectic photos and illustrations often represent material that is long out of date yet offer a fascinating window into our past.  At the same time, the quality and condition of the paper itself, often extends its own unique challenge.  Ultimately, I hope to provide a perspective on the transitory nature of what earlier generations understood to be factual and offer insight into the way ever evolving media has shaped contemporary perspectives.

TONY DAGRADI is an internationally recognized jazz performer, artist, composer, author and educator. For over three decades he has made his home in New Orleans, performing on tenor and soprano saxophone with many of the Crescent City’s celebrated artists.   He is most well-known for his work with Astral Project, an adventurous quartet of top New Orleans players dedicated to playing cutting-edge improvisational music around the world.  His performing past also includes five years as a member of the internationally acclaimed Carla Bley and appearances and recordings with Bobby McFerrin, Mose Allison and Nat Adderley.

 

Since 2015, Tony has been exploring the visual possibilities of altered books. Choosing vintage and antiquarian texts, he carefully cuts through one page at a time utilizing existing images to create a three-dimensional collage or sculpture.

 

The results allow the contents and imagery of long outdated material to be viewed in a manner that is both exciting and thought provoking.

 

For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact Gallery Director Matthew Weldon Showman at 504.343.6827 or matthew@jonathanferraragallery.com. Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@JonathanFerraraGallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags:  #TonyDagradi, #JonathanFerraraGallery and #ArtsDistrictNewOrleans.