Tony Luciani

Home: Durham, Ontario
Title: Madonna and Mannequin
Media: Oil on canvas / huile sur toile
Dimensions: 56 x 43 cm

A woman stands in front of a lush green curtain centre stage, holding a mannequin in a tender embrace, with hands that are strong and gentle. The spot is like a halo, but the light creates a shadow around this performance artist, whose expression is at once grieving and giving. Her sadness speaks of compromise and insecurity, but her veined hands are full of agency and determination and desire.

The surfaces in the painting dramatize the complexity of the relationship between performance and being. Her tattooed skin breathes: informed by light and shadow, softness and coherence, artlessness and artifice. She does not feel beautiful, and hides behind the idealized female form. The white mannequin is like a shield; we can feel it cold and plastic against her flesh and strain to see more of what is so yielding and complex and human about her.

1970-1974 Central Technical School, Toronto, art program
1975-1977 Ontario College of Art, Toronto; fine art program
1977-1978 Ontario College of Art, ‘Florence Program’, post-graduate; Florence, Italy

2012 Wellington County Museum & Archives, Fergus, Ontario
2007 Galerie Crescent Contemporain, Montreal, Quebec; ‘From Da Vinci to Freud’
2005 Loch Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; ‘Layered Reality’

2011-12 The Kingston Prize; Canada’s National Juried Portrait Competition
2011 BCI Juried Invitational, Hamilton, Ontario, First Prize Award
2009-10 The Kingston Prize; Canada’s National Juried Portrait Competition

1989 ‘Artitudes’, 7th International Art Competition, Art 54, New York, NY; Prize Award
1984 Hall du Centenaire, National Museum of Monaco; Invitational
1979 ‘A Canadian Start in Art’, Canada House, London, England; Invitational

1989, 1979, 1977 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant
1980-81 Canada Council “B” Grant
1976-77 George A. Reid Scholarship (Ontario College of Art)

Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, Ontario
Corporation of the City of Toronto
Canada House, London, England