The Bronx Corner Sesame Street • Corridor Contemporary
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The Bronx Corner Sesame Street

Anthony Rondinone is an American artist, born in 1984 in The Bronx, New York. As Rondinone describes it, “the city was a hard place to grow up in”, and indeed, the city and it’s impact on Rondinone takes a significant place in his artworks and their process of coming to life. New York, as Rondinone sees it, can make you feel all alone even on a block full of people, and the complications that came along with his childhood in The Bronx, taught him that this city often requires you to hide your true emotions. That is why it is no wonder that these emotions can be seen in all their glory in Rondinone’s artworks. Rondinone has never left the Bronx until he was a teenager, so, for him there was nothing strange in his neighborhood or in the way he grew up, that was all he ever knew about the world.
Rondinone actually started his professional path in art by making music. Growing up, his family did not have a lot of money, therefor he did not have many toys – He believes that his first urge to start creating came from that. As a kid, he played with what he had at that time – pens and an old broken guitar a friend of his father’s brought him. Therefore, his passion for art began at an early age and was divided into two – creating music with an old guitar and drawing with the pens that he had. As he grew up, Rondinone decided to focus completely on his music, and was a part of a band. However, it did not take him long to realize that his dream to express his emotions was not achieved completely through music. That is why, he has decided to start painting again. According to Rondinone, through music he could not completely disconnect himself, this is something he finds essential for the purpose of portraying his feelings. With painting, however, the very act of it allows him to completely disconnect from the world. By doing so, he lets his mind wonder off different avenues of thoughts, from where he draws inspiration for the topics he wants to convey on his works.

The Addicted no.1 , 2021

Acrylic on Canvas

76 x 102 cm, 30 x 40in

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“I never fully know which direction a piece is going to take, Once I can find myself in a piece – I know it is done.״

Courtesy of @anthonyrondinone Instagram account
Rondinone explores every aspect of the subjects he works on, almost like character development for a movie. Through his use of abstract figures and characters from pop culture, he starts conversations about mental health and other social issues that he finds crucial for the type of community he grew up in. His application of these pop culture characters began when Rondinone thought it would be interesting to utilize characters that people can immediately recognize, and that are usually identified as happy characters. This instant recognition tends to make most people look past these figures, similar to people passing over strangers walking by on the streets of New York. Rondinone seeks to dive into a more deep, psychic side of these characters that we are all very familiar with. Sesame Street reminds him of the neighborhood where he grew up in, and the characters in this show remind him of the people who live there. For example, his Marge Simpson Series tries to re-think at the idea of a “housewife” in low income America, and The Cookie Monster Series depicts the true depths of addiction. Each character represents a type of person or issue in society that Rondinone wishes to explore. The results are the expressive portraits he creates, capturing the darker side of the human experience but also, showing the color it can bring.

Gas Light District (Marge), 2021

Acrylic on Canvas

76 x 102 cm, 30 x 40 in

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Who Will Want Me Now (Partying like its 2020), 2021

Acrylic on Canvas

76 x 61 cm, 30 x 24 in

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Life Like, 2021

Acrylic on Canvas

76 x 56 cm, 30 x 22 in

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“I’m an observer. I’ve always had a way of watching people and trying to figure them out, which surprisingly takes a lot of empathy. It was a good skill to have in a lot of situations back in the day. Now it helps me to understand people and
work through what I think about different issues. I try not to take a side, I just watch the game and express my feelings on it in a way that makes the viewer put a little more thought into a topic or even find himself in the characters and really
connect with them. Painting for me is more of a stream of consciousness, I let the paint flow as I’m thinking through these topics and how I want to start certain conversations.”

 

 

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