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Tony Scherman

For those of you somewhat unfamiliar with Encaustic Art, Tony Scherman is one of the most successful contemporary artist of this medium.
Since receiving an M.A. from the Royal College of Art in London in 1974, his work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in North America and Europe.

 

Born in Toronto in 1950 to musician parents, Scherman spent a childhood and early career bouncing around Paris and London, equally familiar with the Beatles, David Hockey, drugs and alcohol.
Deeply drawn to history and Greek philosophy, his artwork is simultaneously dark and spiritual, like a portal that allows audiences to witness the artist trying to reconcile all that he has seen and experienced.
Tony Scherman is particularly known for a monumental cycle of Napoleon portraits and French Revolution paintings collected in the 2002 art book, Chasing Napoleon: Forensic Portraits.

One of the Scherman’s series “Conversations with the Devil” appear drastically different from the portraits for which he is best known, but the work is equally deep in conceptual thought.
While spending time in Amsterdam, he began noticing all the flower markets and thought about what they represented.
“The beauty of flowers in the field is that there is no beginning and no end. But when the flower is cut, it changes, the beauty becomes finite.”

 

He contemplated the signification of cut flowers—they may represent birth, death, love—and yet once the cut flower has been given assignation, it becomes sacred and can’t be changed.
Can you really take flowers off a grave and give them to your lover, for instance?
Contemplating that sort of change evokes a “conversation with the devil” and hence the name of the series.

 

Conversations with the Devil

 

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman
Conversations with the Devil by Tony Scherman

His prolific art practice has extended over three decades, during which he has exhibited broadly in Canada, the United States and Europe. Scherman’s work is held in numerous high profile public and private art collections, including Musée de l’Art Contemporain, Canada Council Art Bank, Royal College of Art (London), and California Center of the Arts (Escondido, California).
Both Europa’s Revenge and Untitled (still life) were gifted to the University of Lethbridge Art Collection by the artist in 2009.

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